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In the wake of the recent horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a number of proposals involving federal grant programs have been offered in Congress to try to address the critical issue of school safety. Among the proposals under consideration is the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018:
The House version would authorize $50 million annually to create a grant program that could include training and technical assistance for students, school personnel, and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene early to prevent students from hurting themselves and others; the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence; and any other measure that the director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance determines might significantly improve school security.
The Senate bill would authorize $75 million in the fiscal year 2018 and $100 million annually for the ensuing 10 years. Similarly to the House bill, the Senate version would authorize the Justice Department to issue grants to fund evidence-based training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students to prevent student violence by enabling them to recognize and respond quickly to warning signs of school violence; technology and equipment to improve school security infrastructures, such as locks on classroom doors and reinforced entryways; and other similar programs to those in the house version.
At the same time, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced that he intends to introduce a proposal to provide states with more flexibility in using existing federal education dollars in order to address school safety.
Read the full article about bills for school safety by John Malcolm and Lindsey Burke at The Heritage Foundation.