The House of Representatives passed a new law this week that grants awards to schools to improve on-campus safety.
Representative Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, co-sponsored the bill earlier this month along with 99 other representatives from both parties.
The bill is officially called the STOP School Violence Act of 2018. It will amend an existing law that awards grants for the purpose of safety. The focus of the new bill is to provide funding for training and programs to prevent school violence.
The bill passed a month after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which sparked a national debate regarding gun violence and school safety. Santa Clarita students participated in this conversation by joining a national school walkout on the one month anniversary of the shooting.
Training would be designed for law enforcement, school faculty and students to recognize and respond to warning signs of school violence. It would also include active shooter training.
“Knight believes there are multiple angles that need to be approached simultaneously in order to prevent school shootings and make schools safer.” Chris Jusuf said in an online statement. “The STOP Act addresses many of the issues that lead up to a school shooting and will help identify troubled individuals before an incident occurs. Congressman Knight supports these measures and that is why he cosponsored the bill.”
Development of anonymous reporting systems, through mobile apps, a hotline or website, for threats of school violence was included in the bill as a means to prevent attacks. Funding may also be used for metal detectors, locks, new lighting and other technology to keep schools safe, according to a press release from the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill would move the authority of issuing the grants from the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.