School safety legislation introduced in U.S. Senate

School Bus

A bipartisan group of 22 U.S. Senators, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has introduced legislation to fund school security improvements, invest in programs to prevent school violence from happening.

The Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 authorized the Justice Department to make grants to train students, school personnel and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. The bill also funds evidence-based technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent school violence, including development of anonymous reporting systems and common sense security infrastructure improvements, school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes.

“There is no one, simple fix for addressing acts of violence, but a focus on prevention is an imperative,” Murkowski said. “In the aftermath of tragedy, we find ourselves looking back, identifying the signals for help that were overlooked. We need a more proactive approach to address the growing violence that we see in our society.”

“By equipping individuals with the tools, knowledge and skills needed to identify warning signs, as well as implementing anonymous reporting systems for how to notify the proper authorities with potential threats, we are taking a step in the right direction,” she said. “By being proactive, we all can be part of the solution and keep our students and teachers safe.”