Would Establish Information Database on Safe School Design
On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), David Perdue (R-GA), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) took bipartisan action to strengthen school safety for students across the country. The senators introduced the School Safety Clearinghouse Act, which would establish a federally-funded and housed information clearinghouse detailing best practices for school security and design.
“One thing we can all agree on is we must do everything we can to make sure our children are safe at school,” said Senator Tillis. “We need a comprehensive approach to make sure students are learning in a safe environment, and the bipartisan School Safety Clearinghouse Act makes progress toward that goal. By allowing communities to share information and best practices in one place, we can ensure we are building safer schools and protecting our students.”
“Every student deserves access to a safe learning environment and a quality education,” said Senator Perdue. “As a father and a grandfather, keeping children safe is my top priority. When a parent brings a child into a public school, there is an implicit agreement that their child will be kept safe. My mom and dad were schoolteachers, and they talked about school safety all the time. As an engineer by trade, I believe the first step to improving school security is addressing the structural safety of schools. Our bill would simply create a resource where state and local officials can find best practices for school security and design. Ultimately, it will allow parents, teachers, and administrators to make informed decisions about the best ways to keep their schools and communities safe.”
“Children deserve to go to school and learn in a safe environment,” said Senator Jones. “School leaders should always have the resources they need in order to protect our children and their teachers. Our bipartisan bill is a smart step to get more information to communities about how they can make their schools as safe as possible.”
As a result of the STOP School Violence Act, many school districts now have access to state and federal funding to improve school security. The School Safety Clearinghouse Act would allow districts to make informed decisions about how to implement this funding.
The clearinghouse would be managed by the Department of Homeland Security and include recommendations from engineers, architects, first responders, building security experts, and mental health advocates. It would not advocate for specific technologies or tools or impose any mandates on school districts.
The legislation follows the Federal Commission on School Safety’s December 2018 recommendation of a federal clearinghouse to assess, identify, and share information on school security technology and innovation.
View the bill text here.