Three school districts on the Coast have received a portion of a national grant to improve security in schools.
Announced by U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst’s Office, the Pearl River County, Long Beach and Petal School Districts will share over $544,000 in funding from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bolster school security—including funding to educate and train students and faculty—and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident.
“The safety and security of our citizens, especially our children, is one of the most important duties we have in government, and this funding will go a long way in helping these schools prevent future violence and protect our kids from violent acts. I applaud the Department for investing in our educational institutions and giving administrators and teachers the tools they need in order to safeguard our future generations,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.
President Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law in March 2018, authorizing grants that are designed to improve threat assessments, train students and faculty to provide tips and leads, and prepare law enforcement officers and emergency professionals to respond to school shootings and other violent incidents. The grant programs are managed by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
“These federal resources will help to prevent school violence and give our students the support they need to learn, grow, and thrive,’ said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By training faculty, students and first responders, and by improving school security measures, we can make schools and their communities safer.”
In total, the DOJ awarded more than $85.3 million in grants to address school saftey across the country.
- Pearl River County School District:
The Pearl River County School District received $143,285 under BJA’s STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program. This program is designed to provide multi-disciplinary training programs to school personnel and students (including volunteers, counselors, coaches and school resource officers) with the intent to prevent and respond to mental health crises that may precipitate violent attacks on school grounds. The training will address critical issues such as bullying, addiction and interpersonal violence through education sessions in consultation with school violence researchers, licensed mental health professionals, social workers, teachers, principals and other school personnel.
- Long Beach and Petal School Districts:
The Long Beach School District received $374,834 and the Petal School District received $26,550 under the COPS’ School Violence Prevention Program. This funding is intended to improve school safety through violence prevention, through coordination with law enforcement, training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence, metal detectors, locks, lighting and other deterrent measures, technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency, and other measures to improve school security.