Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik joined her colleagues, led by Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC), in introducing the STOP II, Secure Every School and Protect our Nation’s Children Act.
This legislation builds on the STOP School Violence Act signed into law in 2018 to fund $1 billion for School Resource Officers, $1 billion for mental health guidance counselors, and $5 billion for hardening schools, active shooter training, and training for law enforcement, school officials, and students to intervene before a student reaches a breaking point. The $7 billion legislation is paid for with already approved, yet unused COVID-19 funds.
“I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing real solutions to improve school safety and student mental health,” Stefanik said. “This legislation will help prevent school violence by equipping schools with better security and training to keep campuses safe and provide mental health resources to avoid tragedy. These fundamental improvements will prevent school violence before tragedy strikes. I will continue to engage with local law enforcement departments, teachers, and school superintendents on more possible solutions to ensure safe environments for our students.”
In addition to $7 billion to fund School Resource Officers and mental health guidance counselors, STOP II, Secure Every School and Protect our Nation’s Children Act closes loopholes in school security by allowing schools to apply under the STOP School Violence Act for grants to complete risk assessments and identify gaps in mental health services for students. It also codifies a clearinghouse at the Department of Homeland Security to assess, identify, and share best practices related to school safety.
To improve emergency preparedness, STOP II requires federal agencies to continuously update, develop, and provide training materials on bullying and cyberbullying, emergency planning, mental health, and targeted violence to help schools prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from a range of school safety threats, hazards, and emergency situations.