Security in our schools has become an increasingly important concern in recent years, as a result of various “active shooter” incidents within our schools. In an effort to add increased protection for children and staff, the Illinois “School Code” has been amended, effective August 23, 2019, with the addition of Section 5/10-20.69. (105 ILCS 5/10-20.69). This new provision addresses one way in which access to our schools can be limited. As used in the Act, a “door security locking means” is a device “… intended for use by a trained school district employee in a school building for the purpose of preventing ingress through a door of the building…”.

Installation of such a device, however, requires compliance with various parts of the new law. A “… school district may install a door security locking means on a door of a school building to prevent unwanted entry through the door …” only if certain requirements set out in the statute are met. In some circumstances, if only some of these stated requirements are met, these devices can be installed if, among other conditions, ” … prior to its installation, local law enforcement officials, the local fire department, and the school board agree, in writing, to the installation and use of the door security locking mean …”.

In addition to the requirements described above: ” … Local law enforcement officials and the local fire department must be notified of the location of any door security locking means and how to disengage it. Any specific tool needed to disengage the door security locking means from the outside of the room must, upon request, be made available to local law enforcement officials and the local fire department…”.