Republican Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-2) has put his support behind legislation set to help curb violence in schools this week with the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act. H.R. 4909, introduced by John Rutherford (FL-4), with reauthorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) program “Secure Our Schools”, providing local law enforcement officials, school teachers and staff, and students with outlets to proactively prevent a threat within a school.
$75 million annually will be dedicated to schools to invest in and implement threat assessment teams, intervention methods, and anonymous reporting for students. Additional coordination will be facilitated between school officials and law enforcement authorities to help stave off school violence.
In a press release, Taylor said:
“As a co-sponsor of this bill, I am glad the House acted quickly to pass this important legislation and begin the process of securing our schools. While we can never have complete security, the aftermath of the Parkland shooting has demonstrated systemic failures on multiple levels which must be corrected if we are to be in the best position to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again. Our children are the most valuable commodity we have and must be protected at all costs. Investing in our children’s futures means we must invest in their safety, and that starts with developing new methods of threat prevention and increasing coordination between local and federal law enforcement.”
The measure passed through the House with a 407-10 vote with five members from both sides of the aisle voting against the legislation.
In a report from ABC News, $50 million will be forwarded to the DOJ to enhance training and other initiatives for police and $25 million will go to physical improvements at schools. Metal detectors, stronger door locks, and better emergency notification systems and response technologies will help schools and law enforcement authorities work together to notify the public regarding an emergency in classrooms.