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CPR/AED Training Mandated for Illinois High School Students

By July 2, 2014April 29th, 2015News

The Illinois legislature has passed new legislation requiring training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (“CPR”) and use of an automated external defibrillator (“AED”) for all secondary school students in the state of Illinois. Public Act 098-0632amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act (105 ILCS 110/3). (The new requirements became effective July 1, 2014.)

The amended statute requires that training on how to properly administer CPR and use AEDs must be included in the curriculum of secondary schools. High schools must incorporate training in accordance with the standards of the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or another nationally recognized certifying organization. High school students are not required to participate in the CPR and AED training if the student’s parent/guardian submits a written objection. This is similar to the opt-out mechanism provided for AIDS or family life education in health class.

The Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) will be the enforcing agency for these new requirements but has not yet developed any guidance or regulations for school districts. ISBE has indicated that the new guidance for this law will follow certain principles. For instance, the requirement for training students in CPR and AED use will not require the student to obtain any certification. Furthermore, the training will not be considered a graduation requirement.

CPR and AED training may be taught in any education setting to meet this requirement. ISBE will require that a school employee with CPR and AED certification teach students the relevant training.

ISBE hopes to release their draft guidance on the issue in early July. In the meantime, school districts should prepare a curriculum plan to include CPR and AED training into their health program. School districts should also begin identifying qualified teachers who would be able to provide the CPR and AED training.

The new AED/CPR legislation immediately impacts both curriculum and personnel/labor relations aspects of school administration. Contact Ellen Rothenberg or James Huff with your inquiries.