TODAY’S BIG THING: THE STOP SCHOOL VIOLENCE ACT OF 2018 ❌
This week, in their continued efforts to restore community trust and prevent other tragic acts of violence from happening, the House passed the STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909). With overwhelmingly bipartisan support, Congress voted on Wednesday to empower students, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement to identify individuals with the propensity to commit acts of violence — and to intervene before they do.
WHAT DOES THIS BILL DO?
I’m glad you asked.
The STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909) provides a multi-layered approach to identify threats and prevent violence from taking place on school grounds. It provides much-needed resources, creates an anonymous reporting system, and calls for further coordination with law enforcement on this front.
More specifically, this bill provides funding for…
Student violence prevention training to counter student violence against others and self, including training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students. This prevention training would be designed to give students and school personnel the ability to recognize and respond quickly to warning signs of school violence, and would include active shooter training.
Technology to improve school security including the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems such as mobile apps, a hotline, and a website. This funding may also be used for metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other technologies to keep schools safe.
School threat assessment and crisis intervention teams so that school personnel can respond to threats before they materialize.
More coordination with law enforcement, in particular, with those officers who already staff schools.
WILL THIS HELP STOP SCHOOL VIOLENCE?
While it’s impossible to prevent all future tragedies, this bill is an essential step towards making our schools safer.
As bill sponsor and former sheriff, Rep. Rutherford explained, “I don’t want to be the best first responder to a mass casualty event. I want to stop these horrific events before they ever occur.”
In the midst of a robust dialogue, we must come together and have honest and courageous conversations with one another. It is from these kinds of conversations that Rep. Rutherford’s STOP School Violence Act was envisioned, and it is from these conversations that Congress will be able to innovate, lead and keep their commitment to the American people.