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January 18, 2002

Symposium focuses on Student School Safety Audit

School shootings panel to share "lessons learned"

Involving students in school safety efforts will be the topic for discussion at a one-day symposium in Springfield January 23, 2002 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.).

Illinois' first-in-the-nation Student School Safety Audit will be a prime focus of the session. The Student School Safety Audit was developed by the State Board of Education's Student Advisory Council for students to use in assisting school officials in reviewing and planning for building safety. The State Board adopted the Audit for distribution and use throughout the state.

The centerpiece of the Symposium will be a presentation by school administrators from locations where school shootings have occurred: West Paducah, Kentucky; Pearl, Mississippi; Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Littleton, Colorado. The administrators will discuss the lessons learned from these tragic events with a focus on the role of students in making schools safe. A panel representing Illinois school, business and law enforcement communities will respond to the issues raised by the group.

State Board officials said this Symposium emphasizes student involvement as crucial to violence prevention efforts.

"Recent news accounts show that students are often the key to preventing violence in schools," said State Superintendent of Education Ernest R. Wish. "We are extremely grateful to the Student Advisory Council for the work and thought that went into the Student School Safety Audit, and we are hopeful that student involvement in violence prevention will be increased by this Symposium and the series of regional workshops that will follow."

The Student School Safety Audit is available through the School Safety link on the State Board's home page (, as is the School Safety Audit/Assessment Planning Guide for school administrators.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777