WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues to introduce the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, legislation that funds school security improvements and invests in early intervention and prevention programs to stop school violence before it happens.

The legislation authorizes the Department of Justice to make grants for the purposes of funding evidence-based programs and practices to train students, school personnel, and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. In addition to prevention efforts, the legislation funds technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent school violence. 

Brown said this legislation is just one part of the solution and should be paired with commonsense reforms to also protect people from gun violence.

“We must make sure schools have the resources they need to train law enforcement, students and faculty to detect signs of violence, and make sure the appropriate steps can be taken to stop it before it occurs,” Brown said. “This is one step we can take right now to boost safety in communities everywhere, but it is just part of a comprehensive, bipartisan conversation about steps we can take to prevent these tragedies, which must also include gun safety measures.”

The Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018, or the STOP School Violence Act, reauthorizes and amends the 2001-2009 bipartisan Secure Our Schools Act to offer Department of Justice grants to states to help our schools implement proven, evidence-based programs and technologies that STOP school violence before it happens.  

The bill permits grants to fund evidence-based programs and practices to:

  • Train students, school personnel, and local law enforcement to identify warning signs and intervene to stop school violence before it happens;
  • Improve school security infrastructure to deter and respond to threats of school violence, including the development and implementation of anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence;
  • Develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams; and
  • Facilitate coordination between schools and local law enforcement.

The bill would authorize $75 million for FY 2018, and $100 million annually for the next ten years, which may be partially offset from a DOJ research program called the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.

Brown’s legislation is also co-sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Udall (D-NM), Dean Heller (R-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Doug Jones (D-AL), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Angus King (I-ME).