WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2018) – Through school walkouts, students all across the country are calling for action on school safety, and today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) took action by passing the STOP School Violence Act of 2018. This afternoon, Rep. McMorris Rodgers hosted a press conference on Capitol Hill following the passage of this legislation. Watch her remarks here:
“Every parent should be able to trust that when we drop our kids off at school, it will be a safe place for them to learn, make friends, and find their purpose. That trust was broken in Parkland, Florida, at Freeman High School in Eastern Washington, and in the communities of Columbine, Sandy Hook, and too many others.
“When that trust is broken, our communities are left broken, too. In these moments, we need to take a collective step back, and ask the question, ‘Why?’ …in my community it meant that we came together with local superintendents, principals, and law enforcement officers — and we asked the questions:
‘”Why?’ ‘What’s causing our young people to feel so lost or alone?’ And worse, ‘what’s leading them to choose violence?’”
NOTE: Following the Freeman High School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, the Congresswoman heard from students and brought together local school superintendents, law enforcement, and other school officials to hear their thoughts on what was needed to keep kids safe at school. The number one thing she heard from them was the need for more resources—resources and funding for mental health counselors, school resource officers, and school security improvements.
This legislation, of which the Congresswoman is a cosponsor, would prioritize funding in four specific areas to address concerns of students, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement:
It will provide grant funding for evidence-based training to prevent student violence against others and self, including training for local law enforcement, school personnel, and students
It will fund evidence-based technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent violent attacks
It will provide funding for the development and operation of school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams
And it will provide funding for continued coordination with local law enforcement
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