By CBS13 Staff

WASHINGTON D.C. (CBS13) — The Department of Justice announced Thursday that the STOP School Violence Act will provide roughly $126 million in funding to improve school safety.

The grants 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.

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“The Justice Department has no greater responsibility than protecting Americans from harm,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Schools must be safe places to learn, and today’s investment of more than $125 million under the STOP School Violence Act will help ensure that they are.”

The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (the “STOP School Violence Act”) authorized the Justice Department to make direct awards to states, local governments, Indian tribes, and public agencies (such as school districts and law enforcement agencies) to improve security at schools and on school grounds by implementing evidence-based school safety programs. It also offered funding to support a positive school climate by assisting students and teachers in recognizing, responding to, and preventing acts of violence.

“Every child deserves a safe childhood and that includes a safe environment at school,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.  “The grants that the Department of Justice announced today will help ensure our students can learn and thrive in school.”

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The STOP School Violence Act consists of several awards and grants, all with varying goals aimed at making our nation’s schools safer for students.

The over $74 million in yearly BJA awards will fund training and instruction for school workers 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. Funding also assists in the formation and implementation of interdisciplinary threat assessment or intervention teams, as well as the development of technology solutions such as anonymous reporting systems, hotlines, and websites.

The COPS School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) funds up to 75% of school safety measures in and around elementary and secondary schools. The nearly $52 million in SVPP awards are required by law 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 security-related measures.

The full list of SVPP awards can be found here.

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A list of BJA awards, as they are made, can be found on the OJP Grant Awards page.