Senator David Perdue Leads Effort To Strengthen School Safety

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, November 8th, 2019

U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) spoke on the Senate floor to discuss his bipartisan school safety bill and commemorate “America’s Safe Schools Week.” In September, the Senator introduced the School Safety Clearinghouse Act, which would establish a federally-funded and housed information clearinghouse detailing best practices for school security and design.

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America’s Safe Schools Week: “Last week was designated as America’s Safe Schools Week. It was meant as a time to reflect on the steps we're taking to protect our children every day. Upon reflection, however, one thing becomes very clear. In many cases our public schools have not been designed physically to deal with the student safety issue considering our current realities. The consequences of this are heartbreaking.”

Implicit Agreement: “There's an implicit agreement that when we drop our children off at a school, we want to know that they are going to be kept safe. In many cases today we're not fulfilling that agreement. There are a lot of steps we must take in order to face this crisis. I'm confident that if we come together in a bipartisan fashion and focus on doing what actually works, we can make our schools safer.”

School Safety Clearinghouse Act: “Last month in a bipartisan effort, Senators Doug Jones, Shelley Moore Capito, and Thom Tillis joined me in introducing the School Safety Clearinghouse Act. This will help protect students and faculty in our public schools in America. The School Safety Clearinghouse Act will codify a recommendation from President Trump's Federal Commission on School safety to create a federal clearinghouse containing all the best practices for designing safer schools.”

Expert Recommendations on School Design: “The techniques contained in the school safety clearinghouse will come from the brightest engineers, architects, researchers, and educators in the country. It will be like a library that schools can trust when making critical decisions in talking about physical upgrades in their environment. It's imperative that schools have the best design information because design flaws in school buildings are placing students and faculty at risk every day.”

Safe Schools For Alex: “When drafting this bill, our office met with Max Schachter, whose son Alex was tragically killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida. On that awful day, the murderer fired through the window of Alex’s classroom door and murdered Alex and two of his classmates senselessly. Had the glass been stronger or had the window been designed with an obstructed view of the classroom, Alex might be alive today. There are simple things that could have prevented that. Fixing design flaws like these are a simple matter that we need to take a step toward today to make our schools safer.”

Empowering Schools to Act: “Every school in the country wants to upgrade their safety. The problem is that many schools don't simply have the information they need to make the best choices. The School Safety Clearinghouse Act will close this information gap once and for all. This is not a top-down government program, by the way. The school safety clearinghouse will never have an unfunded mandate or force any school to take any action it doesn't want to. Rather, the School Safety Clearinghouse Act will empower schools, communities, and states, not the federal government, to make the decisions for themselves.”