Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4909 the “Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act.” Alaska Congressman Don Young issued a statement following the passage of the legislation:
“As a former teacher, I know how important it is for students to both be safe and feel safe at school,” said Congressman Young. “Far too often, mental health services in our school systems don’t have the proper, necessary resources to identify and assist struggling students. The STOP School Violence Act is a step in the right direction to help our local communities. This bill focuses on educating students, teachers, school officials and law enforcement how to respond to school violence and how to recognize the warning signs. It also supports crisis intervention teams which will help schools work with students in need. I’m pleased to see this legislation pass so we can equip our local officials, teachers, and students with the training and funds to keep schools safe.”
H.R. 4909 reauthorizes and amends the Secure Our Schools grant program through the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, providing local law enforcement and school personnel with the tools they need to proactively prevent threats. In particular, the bill creates a coordinated reporting system and implements school threat assessment protocols to prevent school shootings and acts of violence before they happen.
The STOP School Violence Act includes the following provisions:
Student violence prevention training
- Provides funding for training to prevent student violence against others and self.
- Includes training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel and students.
Technology to enhance school security
- Provides funding for technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent violent attacks.
- Provides funding to improve school security measures – such as metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other technologies.
- Funds to develop anonymous reporting systems like mobile apps, a hot-line and a website.
School threat assessment and crisis intervention teams
- Provides funding for school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams so that school personnel can respond to threats before they materialize.
Increased coordination with law enforcement
- Provides funding for law enforcement coordination efforts and for the officers already staffing schools.
The STOP School Violence Act passed out of the House 407 - 10 with strong bipartisan support and now moves to the Senate for consideration.