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Rutherford, Members of Congress Send Letter to AG Sessions to Release Guidance on STOP School Violence Act Grants
Today, Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL), as well as the original cosponsors of the STOP School Violence Act – Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) – led a letter signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that the Department of Justice work quickly to release guidance for the school security grant programs funded by the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus bill that was passed in March.
“As a former sheriff and career law enforcement officer, I know firsthand the importance of taking a multilayer approach to ensuring the safety of our schools and our communities,” said Congressman Rutherford. “That is why I am proud to have introduced the STOP School Violence Act, which provides funding for training students, teachers, and law enforcement officers to identify signs of violence and know how to intervene before violence occurs in our schools while hardening the target to increase school security and facilitating coordination with local law enforcement and mental health professionals.
“We now need the Department of Justice to act quickly to issue the necessary guidance for these grants and work with community partners so that our states, localities, and tribes know how to access these new resources available to them. We must act quickly to prevent the horrific tragedies we have experienced in Parkland, Florida, and now again in Santa Fe, Texas. There is no time to waste. I want to thank the original cosponsors of the STOP School Violence Act, as well as Congressman Don Bacon, for their work to prevent these horrific tragedies from occurring in the future and keep our children safe in our schools.”
The STOP School Violence Act, which was signed by President Donald Trump on March 23 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, authorizes funding for state and local schools to make evidence-based investments in the development and operation of FBI & DOJ school threat assessment teams to help schools to intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes; implement anonymous reporting systems for students in coordination with local law enforcement; administer training and technical assistance for students, school personnel and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene early to prevent students from hurting themselves and others; facilitate coordination between schools, local law enforcement, and mental health professionals; and provide significant improvement in Physical plant security at schools. Upon sending the letter, Congressman Rutherford released the following statement:
The letter was sent today on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. In total, 49 Republicans and 15 Democrats signed onto the letter. To read a copy of it, click here.