Reps. Deutch, Williams Introduce Bipartisan School Violence Prevention Bill
Today, Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Representative Roger Williams (TX-25) introduced the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019, a bill which establishes federal grant programs for public schools to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in their security related infrastructure.
“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. Part of addressing threats to our schools and students is understanding the gaps in our security plans," said Rep. Deutch. "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.”
“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.”
“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, Founder & 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, President of Stand with Parkland – The National Association of Families for Safe Schools and father of Gina Montalto who lost her life in the 2018 Parkland shooting. “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 FL-22 and Roger Williams TX-25 and thanks them for prioritizing school safety."
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.