LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: House Overwhelmingly Passes STOP School Violence Act

March 14, 2018
Press Release
Rep. Rutherford Statement on House Passage of H.R. 4909, The STOP School Violence Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives voted 407-10 to pass the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL), along with Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Hal Rogers (R-KY). The bipartisan bill creates a grant program to train students, teachers, school officials, and local law enforcement how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise, construct anonymous reporting systems, and implement school threat assessment protocols to prevent school shootings before they occur.


The STOP School Violence Act is the first piece of legislation passed by either chamber of Congress to implement changes in school and community safety since the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one month ago today.


Upon passage of his bill, Congressman John Rutherford released the following statement:


“Today’s vote in the House of Representatives was an important first step towards keeping our children and our schools safe,” said Rutherford. “I know from my time as Sheriff that school and community safety requires a multi-layered approach. The STOP School Violence Act strengthens several vital layers of that security by giving students, teachers, and officers the resources and the training they to identify warning signs and keep violence out of our schools and away from our children. I greatly appreciate my colleagues in the House, our Leadership, and our President for supporting this bill and joining us to prevent terrible acts of violence before they occur.” 


The legislation, which was introduced on January 30, has wide bipartisan support in both chambers, with a companion bill introduced in the Senate on March 6 by Senator Orrin Hatch and endorsed by Florida Sens. Rubio and Nelson. Of the House passage of Rep. Rutherford’s bill, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated:


“Sheriff Rutherford’s expertise and leadership on the STOP School Violence Act was essential in getting this legislation passed by the House. John has spent his career working to keep our communities and schools safe, and our conference and country are thankful for his continued service. The tragedy at Parkland has reverberated throughout the country with parents and teachers wondering what can be done to make sure this does not happen again. This legislation provides resources to bolster safety measures at schools so children can learn and teachers can teach without fear of violence.”



Read the full bill text: Here




Bill Summary:


Student Violence Prevention Training: The STOP School Violence Act provides funding for training to prevent student violence against others and self, including training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students. Prevention training would be designed to give students and school personnel the ability to recognize and respond quickly to warning signs of school violence, and would include active shooter training.


Technology to Improve School Security: The bill provides funding for technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent attacks. This includes the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems, such as mobile apps, a hot-line, and a website. Funding may also be used for metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other technologies to keep schools safe.


School Threat Assessment and Crisis Intervention Teams: The legislation also contains funding for school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams so that school personnel can respond to threats before they materialize.


More Coordination with Law Enforcement: Finally, the STOP School Violence Act provides funding to support law enforcement coordination efforts, and in particular, those officers who already staff schools.