Bipartisan School Safety Bill Would Establish Information Database
The School Safety Clearinghouse Act would be managed by the Department of Homeland Security, and include recommendations from professionals on school safety.
- By Sherelle Black
- September 25, 2019
In the wake of mass shootings across the nation, U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Doug Jones (D-AL) have introduced the School Safety Clearinghouse Act, which would make recommendations for how to improve school security and design.
The federally-funded clearinghouse would be managed by the Department of Homeland Security and include recommendations from engineers, architects, first responders, building security experts and mental health advocates, according to a press release from Sen. Perdue. It would not advocate for specific technologies or tools or impose any mandates on school districts.
“Every student deserves access to a safe learning environment and a quality education,” said Sen. Perdue in the release. “As a father and a grandfather, keeping children safe is my top priority. When a parent brings a child into a public school, there is an implicit agreement that their child will be kept safe. My mom and dad were school teachers, and they talked about school safety all the time. As an engineer by trade, I believe the first step to improving school security is addressing the structural safety of schools. Our bill would simply create a resource where state and local officials can find best practices for school security and design. Ultimately, it will allow parents, teachers, and administrators to make informed decisions about the best ways to keep their schools and communities safe.”
“Children deserve to go to school and learn in a safe environment,” said Sen. Jones in the release. “School leaders should always have the resources they need in order to protect our children and their teachers. Our bipartisan bill is a smart step to get more information to communities about how they can make their schools as safe as possible.”
The bill is getting early support from some industry groups, reported The Hill.
"Senators Perdue and Jones should be commended for introducing new legislation that will give education officials the vetted information they are desperately seeking to create safe and secure schools for America’s children and teachers," said Robert Ivy, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects, to the outlet.
Daniel Domenech, the executive director of the School Superintendents Association, added that "creating a one-stop shop for school safety building design is exactly the kind of work that the federal government is well positioned to do to enhance school safety.”