WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance has awarded the Ohio Department of Education $687,900 to develop a technological reporting system that will help monitor and assess threats, and improve school safety. The funds for this reporting system will be used to create mobile phone applications, hotlines, and websites that will be made available to help students anonymously report safety concerns. Brown’s bipartisan STOP School Violence Act authorized the funds for this project, as part of the Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program portion of the bill. The STOP School Violence Act was signed into law as part of an omnibus spending package in March.
“While we know there is much more work to be done, this investment is an important step forward to crack down on violence in schools,” said Brown.
In September, Brown worked to increase funding for Student Support and Academic Achievement grants under Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), securing funds at $1.17 billion this year. The Title IV block grant provides funding for student health and safety programs that support mental health, education programs, and the use of technology.
Additional Background on Gun Safety
The omnibus spending package passed in March also included the Fix NICS Act, which Brown supported, to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by including mental health and law enforcement records indicating an individual is being investigated as a terrorist. The bill also ensures all records are uploaded to NICS in a timely manner.
Additionally, the budget deal also included language clarifying that the Dickey Amendment does not prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from conducting or supporting research into firearm safety and gun violence protection. Brown also helped secure a study on the effectiveness of public health programs designed to impact gun safety, which can be found HERE.
While Brown supported the inclusion of these measures in the spending package, he continues to push for a more comprehensive approach that includes closing the gun show loophole, which would require people buying weapons at a gun show or online undergo the same background check as someone buying them at a store in Ohio. Brown has also supported legislation to ban bump stocks following the mass shooting in Las Vegas.