The Department of Justice announced it has awarded more than $87 million to bolster school security, support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident, and conduct research on school safety.
The 2018 STOP School Violence Act authorized the Justice Department to create a series of grant award programs under a School Violence Prevention Program. This year, the Department made 130 awards to schools, districts and other jurisdictions throughout the United States.
“Only by removing the threat of violence from our schools can we expect our kids to reap the full benefits of their education, and only after making our places of learning safe can we ask our teachers to instruct and inspire as they are trained to do,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Office of Justice Programs. “The Department of Justice is committed to securing our schools from danger and giving our kids the support they need to learn, grow and thrive.”
The Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice, within the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, manage the programs and administer the grants, which include funds to:
- train school personnel and educate students on preventing student violence against others and themselves, to include anti-bullying training;
- implement or improve school safety measures, including coordinating with law enforcement;
- train law enforcement to help deter student violence against others and themselves;
- improve notification to first responders through implementation of technology that expedites emergency notifications;
- develop and operate anonymous reporting systems to encourage safe reporting of potential school threats;
- train school officials to intervene when mentally ill individuals threaten school safety;
- provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs;
- examine the root causes of school violence;
- evaluate the effectiveness of the approaches to stopping school violence; and
- analyze the perspectives of STOP School Violence Act grantees.
The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.