The Secure Schools Alliance, an advocate for school safety, announces its support of the federal STOP School Violence Act legislation (S. 2475) to strengthen the security infrastructure, security technology and life safety systems in K-12 public schools.
The Senate’s Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 would reauthorize and amend the 2001-2009 bipartisan Secure Our Schools Act to offer Department of Justice grants to states, helping to implement evidence-based programs and technologies that can prevent school violence, according to the group.
The Senate bill would enable grants to:
- Train students, staff and local law enforcement to identify warning signs
- Improve school security infrastructure to deter and respond to threats of violence
- Develop and implement school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams
- Facilitate coordination between schools and local law enforcement
If passed, the bill would authorize $75 million for the 2018 fiscal year and $100 million annually for the next 10 years.
The current House version (H.R. 4909), sponsored by U.S. Representative John Rutherford, provides $50 million for training and threat assessments but does not provide funding for security infrastructure and technology, says the group.
“As a former sheriff, Congressman Rutherford knows better than most the importance of hardening our schools. They are soft targets,” said Robert Boyd, executive director of the Alliance. “We urge the House to include school security infrastructure and security technology in this legislation.”
Michele Gay, executive director and co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools and the mother of a student killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, supports the Senate bill.
“Our focus has always been —and will remain— on school safety, and from our work throughout the country, we know schools desperately need the funding and attention to safety afforded by this bill,” says Gay.
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