Rep. Anne Stava - Murray (D-Downers Grove)

SPRINGFIELD - Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) filled HB 0029 with the clerk in Illinois on Wednesday, January 13.

The synopsis of the bill reads: "Amends the School Code. Provides that law enforcement officers shall not maintain a presence on school grounds unless there exists an imminent threat of danger to students at the school in question or there is reason to believe that urgent and immediate action is necessary to prevent such danger to students. Makes conforming changes. Defines "school grounds."

On Thursday the bill had its first reading and it was referred to the rules committee.

Bethalto Police Chief Mike Dixon said the following about Stava-Murray's bill: "I'd like to inform the public of another Illinois bill which has been introduced for the 2021 and 2022 sessions, which will eliminate School Resource Officers from all Illinois Schools. Those officers who are paid for by the school districts to be present in the school to assist students having problems, deter active shooters, violence, and aid school officials with disturbances and fights in schools will be eliminated if this bill passes.

"It will also break the chain that the specially trained SRO's have created with children in our state who now have personal relationships with an officer on a daily basis who they can discuss issues such as bullying, in-home violence, suicide, sexual molestations, and on and on, but I guess there are some who think that is a bad thing.

"If you believe it is you and your school district's right to hire police officers to protect and aid your children while in school you may want to let your state representatives and senators know before they pass further legislation defunding and reducing police presences in our communities."

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