A South Florida congressman is pushing a bill expanding federal grants to help school security.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., whose district includes Parkland where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting took place last year, and U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Tex., championed the “School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act” this week. Williams is the main sponsor of the proposal.
The bill would provide $2 billion in grants over a decade, including funds to assess security risks at schools, to improve school security and installing silent panic alarms at schools across the country.
“In the greatest country on earth, no parent should fear sending their child to school, and no child should fear for their own safety in the classroom,” said Williams. “The time has come to provide schools with the funds and resources necessary to conduct vulnerability assessments, and correct security shortfalls on their campuses. Texas leads the country in conducting safety assessments, and the federal government must take the initiative to provide grants, where eligible to ensure that a security weakness is properly addressed. Today, I am proud to partner with Congressman Ted Deutch in introducing legislation that will authorize federal grants for schools to make physical security improvements. This legislation is a bipartisan solution to address a daunting trend across the country. I encourage its immediate consideration in the House of Representatives before American children return to their classrooms this year.”
“Unfortunately, the next school mass murderer is already out there. The gun that he or she will use is already out there. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when and where the next attack will happen," said Max Schachter, the founder and CEO of Safe Schools For Alex. "The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 will provide the resources for schools to analyze their vulnerabilities and fix them in order to prevent and protect their campus’. If it had been in place prior to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre, I feel my little boy Alex and the 16 other innocent victims would still be alive today. Thank you Congressman Williams and Deutch for prioritizing the safety and security of our children and teachers.”
“Students, teachers, and parents deserve safe and secure schools, and the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 takes concrete steps to ensure a safe learning environment for our nation’s children and teachers,” said Tony Montalto, the president of Stand with Parkland – The National Association of Families for Safe Schools and the father of a Parkland shooting victim who lost her life in the attack “As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. School safety assessments are essential to understanding security risks and the grant funding provided in this legislation will help schools address any shortcomings before disaster strikes. Stand With Parkland commends the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Ted Deutch and Roger Williams and thanks them for prioritizing school safety."
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.