Sullivan Joins Colleagues and Parkland Families in Support of STOP School Violence Act

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues and Parkland, FL families to share support for the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act. The legislation, which was introduced earlier this month and has amassed the bipartisan support of 36 Senators, takes important steps to fund school security improvements and invests in early intervention and prevention programs to stop school violence before it occurs.

Speaking at a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) were joined by Kyle Kashuv, a student of Marjory Stone Douglas High School, and Ryan and Patrick Petty, the father and brother of Parkland victim Alaina Petty.

STOP Press Conference

Senator Sullivan speaking today in support of the STOP School Violence Act (click image or here to watch)

“The one element of this bill that I think is very important to recognize – it’s focused on school safety and we all want that of course, but we’re a big country and a lot of what matters and how we’re going to define school safety and security is going to be different in different states, in different communities and a lot of that is going to be defined by school administrators,” Senator Sullivan said today in front of the U.S. Capitol. “What this bill does, it recognizes that. It sets out broad parameters, gets funding to different communities through our entire country, but then allows the local circumstances and the local issues to be addressed and designed by the people who are on the ground. And I think that’s a very important element of this bill. I’m proud to be a cosponsor and again I want to thank all my colleagues on moving forward on something that’s important.”

The legislation authorizes the Department of Justice to make available 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 funds 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 provides funds for school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes. 

STOP School Violence Act of 2018 

The Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018, or the STOP School Violence Act, reauthorizes and amends the 2001-2009 bipartisan Secure Our Schools Act to offer Department of Justice grants to states to help our schools implement proven, evidence-based programs and technologies that STOP school violence before it happens.  The bill permits grants to fund evidence-based programs and practices to:

  • Training to students, school personnel, and local law enforcement to identify warning signs and intervene to stop school violence before it happens;
  • Improve school security infrastructure to deter and respond to threats of school violence, including the development and implementation of anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence;
  • Develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams; and
  • Facilitate coordination between schools and local law enforcement.

The bill would authorize $75 million for FY 2018, and $100 million annually for the next ten years, which may be partially offset from a DOJ research program called the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.