Gov. Quinn holds school safety summit

By WEEK Producer

January 22, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 4:10 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- How would you make schools in Illinois safer?

Governor Pat Quinn met with school administrators, teachers, and law enforcement agencies from across the state in Springfield on Tuesday to discuss just that.

Topics at the school safety summit ranged from focusing on mental health to adding armed security guards and better security systems. Organizers say the meeting was a starting point to prevent school violence, improve emergency preparedness, and make school buildings safer.

"This is our opportunity to get all the ideas on the table, have everyone really say their piece on what they think is important, and prioritize those ideas," said Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Johnathon Monken. "There are a lot of ways to approach them. Some of them might require legislation action, some of them, we might be able to do today. Information sharing is something we can just start doing."

Governor Quinn says he will be looking into whether adequate mental health services are available to educators and students to prevent violence.

He says some of the ideas discussed at the summit may lead to legislation and that the topic is also likely to come up in his State of the State address next month.

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