U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018. The bipartisan legislation authorizes funds for school security improvements and investment in early intervention and prevention programs to stop school violence before it happens.
The STOP School Violence Act authorizes the Department of Justice to make grants for the purposes of training students, school personnel, and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. In addition to prevention efforts, the legislation authorizes funds for evidence-based technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent school violence. This includes the development of anonymous reporting systems, and commonsense security infrastructure improvements. The legislation also allows resources to be used for school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes.
“By providing critical resources to schools to strengthen their security infrastructure and train teachers, administrators, and law enforcement officers to intervene, we can save countless lives,” said Senator Hatch, the lead sponsor of the legislation. “Putting these kinds of critical resources closer to students in Utah has led to incredible success, stopping 86 attacks in schools since 2016. I believe we can replicate that success on a national level with this commonsense, noncontroversial proposal.”
“I applaud Chairman Hatch for his leadership on this school safety legislation,” said Senator McConnell. “Americans are united in wanting schools to ensure the safety and security of our children. We use a variety of security measures to protect workplaces and government buildings across America. We ought to be able to do the same to protect our children.”
“In the wake of the tragic shooting incidents in Benton, Kentucky, and Parkland, Florida, many voices have joined the debate and discussion about how best to keep our students and schools safe. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has been among them, and I commend him for co-sponsoring the STOP School Violence Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Orin Hatch and a group of bipartisan lawmakers,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen L. Pruitt. “This legislation, if approved, would steer much needed federal resources and grants to our schools for training, technology, law enforcement coordination, school threat assessments and other preventative measures aimed at keeping all our students and schools safe. As Kentucky’s commissioner of education, I support this bill and see it as an important piece in our effort to create a comprehensive approach to ensuring our schools are safe places for teaching and learning.”
“I am encouraged by the action being taken at all levels to protect the students, teachers, and staff at Kentucky’s schools. The Kentucky State Police looks forward to continuing to develop the best way to combat threats and to prevent harm,” said Commissioner Rick Sanders, Kentucky State Police. “I would like to commend Senator McConnell for his bipartisan efforts through the STOP School Violence Act to give communities the resources they need to keep our students safe.”
Joining Hatch and McConnell on the legislation are: Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Udall (D-NM), Dean Heller (R-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Doug Jones (D-AL), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Angus King (D-ME).