Illinois Senate has passed legislation filed by State Sen. Chapin Rose on amending the School Code  by defining "temporary door locking device" and allowing school districts to use door-locking mechanisms that attach to the door. 

The legislation specifies that the mechanisms must be unlockable from the outside by a key or tool given to police and fire departments so they can continue to act to protect those barricaded inside.

Other specifics include: 

-school districts may install a door security locking means on a door of a school building to prevent unwanted entry through the door if certain requirements are met.

-Requires a school district to include the location of any door security locking means and to address the use of the locking and unlocking means from within and outside the room in its filed school safety plan under the School Safety Drill Act.

-Provides that a door security locking means may be used only:

  • by a school district employee who has completed required training,
  • during an emergency that threatens the health and safety of students and employees or during an active shooter drill,
  • when local law enforcement officials and the local fire department have been notified of its installation prior to its use.

-Requires a school district that has installed a door security locking means to conduct an in-service training program for school district employees on the proper use of the door security locking means.

-Provides that a door security locking means that requires 2 releasing operations must be discontinued from use when the door is replaced or is a part of new construction and replacement and new construction door hardware must include mortise locks, compliant with the applicable building code, and be lockable from the occupied side without opening the door.

The legislation is now headed to the Illinois House for consideration.