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The act would offer grants to states to help schools improve security and train students, teachers and police to identify warning signs
The plan would also develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams
Student survivors of the Parkland school shooting joined a group of lawmakers including Florida senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson Tuesday to push for the passage of a bi-partisan school violence measure.
Rubio and Nelson were joined by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Kyle Kashuv and Patrick Petty in the nation’s capital to discuss the STOP School Violence Act.
The act would offer grants to states to help schools improve security and train students, teachers and law enforcement to identify warning signs and intervene to stop school violence before it happens.
“I truly believe if this act had been in place a month ago Parkland wouldn’t have happened,” Kashuv said.
The plan would also develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams and facilitate coordination between schools and local law enforcement.
“The notion that we should do everything we can to put in place systems to identify and to stop someone before they commit an act of violence, be it a mass shooting or taking their own lives, is something we can all agree on,” Rubio said.
Patrick Petty lost his 14-year-old sister, Alaina, in the shooting and is supporting the measure.
“It gives us, the students, the teachers and the parents all an opportunity to sit down and talk with law enforcement and exchange information,” he said.
“I wish that we had had the Stop Violence Act a month ago,” father Ryan Petty said. “The shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas was the worst kept secret in Parkland, the school officials knew, law enforcement knew, they didn’t do anything about it. We need a change and the STOP School Violence Act will give us the change that we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Rubio called the measure, which is supported by Republicans and Democrats, “a good first step” and said he’s hoping to get a vote on it before the recess after the House votes on it this week.
“It’s important that we get something done and get something done in a bipartisan way,” Nelson said.