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Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Senate bill seeks to improve school safety

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A bill that seeks to help schools improve security measures was introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The Luke and Alex School Safety Act of 2021 would codify the Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety into law. The clearinghouse is available at SchoolSafety.gov and informs parents and educators on expert recommendations and best practices that schools can implement to improve school security.

Further, the clearinghouse provides information on available federal resources and grant programs for these safety measures.

The bill is named after Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, two students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack in Parkland, Fla. Luke and Alex’s parents, along with the group Stand with Parkland, have lobbied Congress to take steps to prepare and protect students in the event of an attack.

“The Parkland shooting is a tragedy I will never forget, and I was proud of the work I was able to accomplish with the families and the previous administration to help ensure school districts have a reliable central authority, or clearinghouse, where evidence-based and successful models for school safety measures are available,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said. “I also led a bipartisan, bicameral effort urging the federal commission on school safety to include such a clearinghouse in their recommendations, which they ultimately did. This central point of information to improve school safety must be available to states and local education agencies, which is why I support codifying a Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices to fulfill that need. Congress should act swiftly to pass this bill.”

It was co-sponsored by Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).

“Nearly three years ago, we lost 17 innocent lives in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I think about those lives lost, and the families impacted, every day,” Scott said. “Since that horrible day, I’ve worked closely with many of the victims’ family members as Governor and now as Senator to ensure no child, educator, or family has to experience that again. This legislation, the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, honors two of the victims, Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, and builds on our work to keep schools safe and prevent another tragedy. I will never stop working to protect our students and educators and ensure they have a safe environment to learn and succeed.”