On May 27, 2022, Illinois passed a new law, HB5193, which allows public schools supported wholly or partially by the State to provide instruction in safety education in all grades. Sponsors of this bill say it is the State’s effort to reduce all gun violence and prevent future shootings. The bill was passed with strong bipartisan support.

Safety education includes instruction in the following:

  1. Automobile safety, including traffic regulations, highway safety, and the consequences of alcohol consumption and the operation of a motor vehicle;
  2. Safety in the home, including safe gun storage;
  3. Safety in connection with recreational activities;
  4. Safety in and around school buildings;
  5. Safety in connection with vocational work or training;
  6. Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation for students enrolled in grades 9 through 11; and
  7. For students enrolled in grades 6 through 8, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and how to use an automated external defibrillator by watching a training video on those subjects.

School boards may make suitable provisions in the schools under their jurisdiction for instruction in safety education for not less than 16 hours during each school year. The curriculum approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board shall contain instruction in safety education for teachers that is appropriate to the grade level of the educator license.

The law does not require a specific curriculum. Schools can decide if they want to add safe gun storage to their curriculum and can choose materials from various groups, such as the Moms Demand Action and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

For more information about this article, contact Tressler attorney Marlene Fuentes at mfuentes@tresslerllp.com.

About the Author

Marlene Fuentes is an associate in Tressler’s Government Practice Group. Marlene’s practice focuses on day-to-day operations and administrative proceedings for government clients, particularly educational institutions and municipalities. She has extensive experience in administrative hearings, student discipline, labor and employment, board policies, general and special education matters, litigation and contractual issues.

Prior to joining Tressler, Marlene was Senior Assistant General Counsel for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, a position covering approximately 400,000 students in over 600 schools across Chicago. In this role, Marlene served as the lead legal counsel for CPS and Chicagoland charter schools for all matters stemming from IDEA and Section 504. She has extensive experience in due process litigation, administrative hearings and handling ISBE and OCR complaints.