Diaz-Balart, Deutch, Rutherford, Murphy Introduce Legislation to Make our Schools Safer
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), John Rutherford (R-FL-4), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7) introduced the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, the House companion to a Senate Bill introduced by Ron Johnson (R-WI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rick Scott (R-FL). This legislation would create a federal clearinghouse that categorizes, assesses, and shares best practices for school safety measures and identifies the resources necessary to implement them.
“The Luke and Alex School Safety Act honors Luke Hoyer, Alex Schachter, and the 15 others who tragically lost their lives as a result of a senseless, merciless act of violence in Parkland, Florida,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. “This bill would, essentially, create a one-stop-shop for schools, families, and community officials to obtain valuable resources on school safety best practices. I would like to thank Alex’s father, Max Schachter, who has tirelessly advocated for this initiative and has been a champion in making our schools safer. I thank my colleagues for joining me in introducing this important, bipartisan legislation, and I look forward to it swiftly reaching the President’s desk.”
“Max Schachter, Tom and Gena Hoyer, and the other families of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas tragedy have turned the painful loss of their loved ones into action to help others avoid that same loss,” said Rep. Deutch. They have become national leaders in the quest to keep our children safe from gun violence in their schools. Their support has been integral in developing effective policies to prevent gun violence. Parents should not have to worry whether their kids will return home safely to them after school. This bipartisan and bicameral bill builds on the work of Parkland parents by requiring a dedicated home within the federal government for school security best practices and guidance that will help prevent gun violence and save lives in schools across the country.”
“As administrators, students, parents, and local law enforcement collaborate to make schools across our country safer, it is important that they have easy access to the most accurate and up-to-date information on how best to do so,” said Rep. Rutherford. “The Luke and Alex School Safety Act will centralize the latest school safety research, best practices, and grant opportunities, and make them accessible to every school district across America. Thank you to Congressmen Diaz-Balart and Deutch for their commitment to protecting our students in school.”
“As a mom, I know that Congress has no obligation more solemn than protecting our children,” said Rep. Murphy. “That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Luke and Alex School Safety Act to ensure that schools in Florida and across the country can obtain the resources and information they need to help keep our students safe.”
- Codify and structure a Clearinghouse of School Safety Best Practices within DHS/CISA.
- Acknowledge the efforts of past commissions by populating the Clearinghouse with recommendations for comprehensive school safety measures, including threat prevention, preparedness, protection, mitigation, incident response, and recovery to improve the safety posture of a school upon implementation.
- Specify criteria for best practices and recommendations and a process for continuous improvement and updating of Clearinghouse so it remains relevant, easy to use, and does not become an enormous data bank wish list.
- Review all grant programs administered by the Departments of Education, HHS, DOJ, and DHS to identify those that may be used for school security improvements and to identify any Clearinghouse items that are not currently supported by any existing grant program.
- Require the Attorney General and the Secretaries of Education, HHS, and DHS to notify their respective counterparts at the state level and other relevant stakeholders, including parents, of the School Safety Clearinghouse.
- Identify which state officials are responsible for school safety, as well as any grant program that may be used to award grants for the purposes of implementing best practices and recommendations of the Clearinghouse.