Local congressman files bill to prevent violence in schools

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Congressman Roger Williams whose district includes areas around and part of Fort Hood has joined with Representative Ted Deutch of Florida to introduce a bill to provide money for public schools to identify and correct ways in which they might be vulnerable to violent acts.

The bill is HR 3665, or the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019.

The bill would set up a grant system to fund independent studies of school facilities to look at and identify how they might be at risk.

The grants would cover 100 percent of those studies.

There would also be a grant program to fund hard security improvements based on the studies.

The grant would cover half the cost of the improvements unless the school gets a financial hardship waiver.

All schools would be required to install at least one silent panic alarm for use in a school security emergency. The panic alarm would directly alert the closest law enforcement agency.

“The Killeen Independent School District applauds the efforts of Congressman Williams to ensure schools are secure and appropriate measures are in place, especially during a time when school safety has reached the highest level of importance,” said Dr. John Craft, Superintendent of Killeen ISD. “Additional funding provided through the proposed legislation will only help to make schools across the country safer for students and staff, while addressing critically important facility improvements.”

“Abbott ISD is excited about the potential of H.R. 3665,” said Eric Pustejovsky, Superintendent of Abbott ISD. “As the superintendent of a rural school, I know firsthand the importance of school safety and the financial difficulties that a district can incur protecting students. Any federal financial assistance is welcomed when it comes to guarding the students of Texas and the United States. This legislation can provide Abbott ISD with the support it needs to conduct safety audits on campus and the resources to bolster facilities in order to keep students safe.”

“In the greatest country on earth, no parent should fear sending their child to school, and no child should fear for their own safety in the classroom,” said Rep. Williams. “The time has come to provide schools with the funds and resources necessary to conduct vulnerability assessments and correct security shortfalls on their campuses. Texas leads the country in conducting safety assessments, and the federal government must take the initiative to provide grants, where eligible to ensure that a security weakness is properly addressed. “

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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