Smucker Statement on House Passage of STOP School Violence Act
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act with his support:
“The safety of our children is paramount, especially in our schools. This legislation empowers students, teachers, administration officials, and law enforcement to better identify and intervene before there is an act of violence in our schools. I am also glad this legislation includes a provision that I cosponsored to make federal funding available to local and state governments to install panic button systems in school classrooms.
“Schools should be places where students can learn and dream big. I remain committed to the ongoing discussion of school safety and firearms, and welcome further input from my constituents on this topic.”
The STOP School Violence Act would reauthorize, modify, and expand a grant program established in the Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. The bill would also revise the purposes for which these grant funds may be used. Grants would be focused on evidence-based safety programs that could include violence prevention training, anonymous reporting systems, crisis intervention teams, local law enforcement coordination, and deterrent devices.
Under current law, the federal government is prohibited from covering more than 50 percent of a project through grants, with the state paying the remainder. This bill would increase the federal share to 75 percent. The bill authorizes $75 million for this grant program.
Provision on Panic Button Systems
Rep. Smucker cosponsored Rep. Mike Bost’s bipartisan bill to establish a pilot program that would install panic buttons in school classrooms. School districts would be awarded 75 percent of equipment and installation costs up to $200,000, with the state providing the additional 25 percent. The panic buttons would immediately notify law enforcement and first responders in case of an emergency. This legislation is supported by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Education Association.