The STOP School Violence Act would create a grant program to train students, teachers, school officials, and local law enforcement how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise, create a coordinated reporting system, and implement FBI & Secret Service-based school threat assessment protocols to prevent school shootings before they happen.

This bill, which was introduced on January 30 and now has more than 25 bipartisan cosponsors, would boost school efforts to develop violence prevention programs and coordinate with law enforcement to improve school.

What the bill does

The Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Actwould appropriate $50 million per year for:

  • Schools to develop “threat assessment systems” in line with recommendations from the FBI and Secret Services, in hopes of stopping such would-be killers before they commit acts of violence.
  • Anonymous reporting systems to be implemented for use by students, teachers, or others to contact law enforcement about potential threats.
  • Improving school security through the use of technologies and increased personnel.
  • None of the money in the bill would be used to arm teachers, the most controversial gun-related provision proposed in the wake of the shooting, one endorsed by President Trump.

The House bill was introduced by Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL4) in late January, about two weeks before the Parkland high school shooting in Rutherford’s home state. It did not take place in his home district, located in northeastern Florida bordering Georgia, hundreds of miles from the southern part of the state where the massacre occurred.

The legislation is numbered H.R. 4909 in the House and S. 2495 in the Senate.

Above: Congressman Rutherford announces bill at news conference.

“As a career police officer and sheriff for 12 years in my hometown of Jacksonville, I know first-hand the importance of communities working together with their law enforcement agencies to keep people safe. This bill invests in early intervention and prevention programs in our local schools, so that our communities and law enforcement can be partners in preventing violent events from happening. We need to give students, teachers, and law enforcement the tools and training they need to identify warning signs and to know who to contact when they see something that is not right.”

Congressman John Rutherford in announcing bipartisan STOP School Violence Act