The Department of Justice recently announced nearly $126 million in funding to advance school safety under the STOP School Violence Act. The grants, awarded by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance and the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, will help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts, provide training to school personnel and students, and implement evidence-based threat assessments.
Nearly $390,000 of the money will go to the Rochester School Corporation.
The Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 gives the Justice Department the authority to provide awards directly to states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and public agencies (such as school districts and law enforcement agencies) to improve security at schools and on school grounds through evidence-based school safety programs. It also provides grants to ensure a positive school climate by helping students and teachers recognize, respond quickly to, and help prevent acts of violence.
The awards, totaling almost $74 million, are intended to support training and education for school personnel and students on preventing violence against others and themselves, including anti-bullying training and specialized training for school officials to respond to mental health crises. Funds also help develop and implement multidisciplinary threat assessment or intervention teams and design technology solutions such as anonymous reporting systems, hotlines and websites.
The COPS School Violence Prevention Program provides up to 75% of the funding for school safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools. The 153 SVPP awards, totaling almost $52 million, are statutorily obligated to be used for coordination with law enforcement; training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence; locks, lighting and other deterrent measures; technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency; and other measures that provide a significant improvement in security.