This article describes a pilot system of information sharing among schools and appropriate governmental agencies in an effort to enhance school security in the Bloomington-Normal (Illinois) area.
The aim of the "safe school shared information system" is to give school officials and officials from relevant government agencies a single formal process for sharing information that will identify any trend of unsafe or criminal behavior in schools. The pilot system links authorized users from the Bloomington and Normal police departments, the McLean County State's Attorney's Office, the juvenile division of the Illinois Department of County Court Services, the local office of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and schools from two districts in the Bloomington-Normal area. The Normal Police Department is the lead local agency and houses the network. Members of the network will receive software that enables them to hook into the network's World Wide Web server and communicate through a privacy-protected e-mail system. Installation is underway, with full operation expected in late 2000. When any of the participating schools and agencies become aware of problem behavior by students, this information is shared with other members of the network, which facilitates proactive planning that can address situations and needs that might contribute to a continuation or escalation of the problem behaviors. There are specific guidelines for the types of information that can be shared; for example, private student records cannot be shared without a court order.
Date Published: January 1, 2000