In response to the rash of deadly school shootings, a new law in Illinois requires public or private school administrators, as well as officials at colleges and universities, to report dangerous students to state authorities.

An add-on to the state’s concealed carry law, the legislation requires school employees to report to Illinois State Police any student that school administration deems to pose a Clear and Present Danger to themselves or others, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. The report must be drafted within 24 hours of making the determination that the student is dangerous.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that under Illinois law, a student would be considered a Clear and Present Danger if they "demonstrate threatening physical or verbal behavior, such as violent, suicidal or assaultive threats, actions or other behavior.” According to Illinois State Police materials, “principals and chief administrative officers of public and private elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, colleges and universities” are responsible for reporting such behavior.

The reporting party must complete a Person Determined to Pose a Clear and Present Danger form. According to Illinois State Police materials, “Specific behaviors and statements leading to the determination must be included in the form’s narrative section. Dates and times of occurrence, as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses, should also be included.” Additional documentation can be submitted along with the form. 

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond told the Belleville News-Democrat the new reporting requirement will get law enforcement involved, and may prevent violence. Once a student is reported, Bond said police will fully investigate the student and the incident.

According to police materials, Clear and Present Danger reporting will be consistent with the state’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to assist law enforcement with protecting the public by denying a dangerous individual from having lawful access to weapons. One way the department can do this is by revoking the individual's Firearm Owner Identification Card, if they have one.

East St. Louis School District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver told the Belleville News-Democrat that he believes the new requirements will help keep students safe. "We welcome these new requirements as one more resource that we can use to protect the security of our staff and students," he told the paper. "Just as mandated reporting of child abuse has increased the protection of children, I expect these clear and present danger reporting requirements will help protect students from tragedies involving guns."

The State Police Department recommends school administrators consult with legal counsel before adopting Clear and Present Danger Reporting policies.

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