Rutherford Introduces School Safety Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives John Rutherford (FL-04), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Ted Deutch (FL-22), and Stephanie Murphy (FL-07) introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Luke and Alex School Safety Act of 2019. This bill, named after Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter who were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, would help local school districts access federal school safety resources by creating a federal clearinghouse of best practices and federal assistance. This is the House companion to a Senate bill introduced by Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“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 would centralize the latest school safety research, best practices, and grant opportunities, and make them accessible to every school district across America. Thank you to Representatives Diaz-Balart, Deutch, and Murphy for their commitment to protecting our students in school.”
“The Luke and Alex School Safety Act honors Luke Hoyer, Alex Schachter, and the 15 others who tragically lost their lives in the 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 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.”
Specifically, the Luke and Alex School Safety Act of 2019 would codify and structure a Clearinghouse of School Safety Best Practices within the Department of Homeland Security, as well as review all school safety grant programs administered by federal agencies and identify the state officials responsible for school safety. Last year, Congressmen Rutherford and Deutch introduced and passed into law the STOP School Violence Act of 2018. Since its passage, this landmark legislation has already made available $175 million in school safety grants to local school districts, including nearly $12 million for schools throughout the state of Florida.