School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act to Establish Federal Grant Programs
This bill will help schools pay for security risk assessments that will identify gaps in their security-related infrastructure and help prevent tragedy.
- By Kaitlyn DeHaven
- July 16, 2019
Last week, 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.
Rep. Deutch said this bipartisan bill will help schools pay for security risk assessments that will identify gaps and help prevent tragedy. He said the legislation will also help expand Alyssa’s Law nationwide.
“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. “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.”
Max Schachter, the founder and CEO of Safe Schools for Alex said the legislation will provide schools with the tools to see where their weaknesses are, and fix them in order to create a safe, secure campus.
“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," Schachter said. “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.”
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. In addition, the program will cover 100 percent of the cost to do independent facility security risk assessments, and 50 percent of the cost for hard security improvements that are recommended by the assessments.
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.
Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.