On the same day an estimated 80,000 students across the nation walked out of class to commemorate the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school, the House of Representatives has passed a school safety bill in a landslide bipartisan 407-10 vote.
Republicans acknowledged that the bill is just a start. Reportedly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed interest in passing a school safety bill that includes a “narrow background check” provision.
The Hill reported:
The bill does not include gun control measures despite the growing calls for action on that front. Students across the country staged walkouts Wednesday on gun violence, with one of the protests taking place outside the Capitol.
Instead of gun control, Republicans have focused on enhancing school safety and investigating why law enforcement missed repeated warning signs about the Parkland suspect.
House lawmakers voted 407-10 to approve a bill from Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), a former sheriff. The measure would provide $50 million a year for a new federal grant program to train students, teachers and law enforcement on how to spot and report signs of gun violence.
The bill was brought up under an expedited process that requires a two-thirds vote for passage.
Additional details included:
The STOP (Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing) School Violence Act would develop anonymous telephone and online systems where people could report threats of violence.
It also would authorize $25 million for schools to improve and harden their security, such as installing new locks, lights, metal detectors and panic buttons.
Appropriators would still need to provide money for the grant program in a separate spending bill.