Reps. Williams and Deutch Introduce Bill that Invests $2 Billion Toward Violence Prevention in our Nation’s Schools
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Roger Williams (TX-25) introduced H.R. 3665, the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019, with Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22) as the lead co-sponsor. The newly introduced bill establishes federal grant programs for public schools to first identify then mitigate vulnerabilities in their security related infrastructure.
“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 Rep. 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.”
“Over a year after the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in my district, our country continues to search for ways to keep our children safe in schools,” said Rep. Deutch. “Part of addressing threats to our schools and students is understanding the gaps in our security plans. I’m pleased to join my colleague Congressman Williams on this bipartisan bill to help schools pay for security risk assessments that will identify gaps and help prevent tragedy. Additionally, our legislation includes a provision to expand Alyssa’s Law nationwide. Alyssa’s Law was first enacted in New Jersey and is named in remembrance of Alyssa Alhadeff who was 14 years old when she was killed at Stoneman Douglas. By expanding Alyssa’s Law across the country, we will help more schools utilize alarm systems that directly alert law enforcement to improve emergency response and save lives.”
The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 authorizes $2 billion over 10 years for schools to first identify security risks and then address any shortfalls.
- Independent Facility Security Risk Assessments
- Establishes a grant program, administered by the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), that funds independent facility security risk assessments, conducted by experts, for individual public schools.
- The grant will cover 100% of the cost to conduct the assessment.
- Hard Security Improvements
- Establishes a grant program, administered by COPS, that funds hard security improvements for individual public schools based upon a previously conducted assessment.
- The grant will cover 50% of cost, unless the school receives a financial hardship waiver from the COPS Director.
- All schools will be required to install at least one silent panic alarm for use in a school security emergency, like an active shooter situation. The panic alarm, when activated, will directly alert the closest law enforcement agency of an emergency.