By Jill Fox
Just two weeks into the new administration, the 117th United States Congress has reintroduced the Luke and Alex School Safety Act in an attempt to pass the legislation to create safer schools.
On January 29, Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio [R-FL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced the Luke and Alex School Safety Act of 2021 to codify the Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety law.
Named in honor of Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, two students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, their parents, along with Stand with Parkland, have fought tirelessly for Congress to take steps like this one.
On Wednesday, the bill was backed by U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), John Rutherford (R-FL-4), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7).
“As we work to end the pandemic and return to a normal school year for our students, we must build school safety into the process,” said Rep. Deutch. “Schools shouldn’t wait to implement measures to keep students safe from threats, particularly gun violence.”
The clearinghouse provides information on federal resources and grant programs available to be used toward these safety measures.
“It’s a one-stop-shop for parents, teachers, administration, law enforcement — anyone tasked with school safety,” said Tony Montalto, president of Stand with Parkland, who credits Max Schachter with envisioning the idea.
Along with other Stand with Parkland Board members, Montalto shepherded this bill through the process by traveling to Washington D.C. for briefings, a roundtable, beta testing, and launch. He urged lawmakers from both parties to embrace this area of common ground, come together and move swiftly to pass this legislation that will make America’s schools safer.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.