Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson are joining Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch in introducing legislation that would give the United States Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center more authority to act on stopping school shootings.
Named the “Eagle Act” after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Mascot, the bill reauthorizes the NTAC to study school shootings to prevent future acts from happening, and it also creates a national program that funds training to prevent shootings.
The four senators all gave statements in regards to why they are backing the bill.
Senator Bill Nelson explained that “We need to do everything we can to better protect our kids while they’re in school. This bill will help provide school officials with the resources and training they need to detect potential threats before they materialize.”
Senator Rubio added that “To prevent future tragedies like Parkland, a multi-pronged approach is needed to ensure that threats do not fall through the cracks. By providing funding to the National Threat Assessment Center, top-notch research to stop school violence will help prevent future tragedies. This bill will also expand threat assessment programs so that more school districts can be trained to identify threats and properly intervene. I thank Chairman Grassley for shepherding this bill and for his ongoing efforts to reduce school violence, and urge my colleagues to quickly pass this bill.”
Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, detailed that “The U.S. Secret Service has unique and unparalleled experience in identifying threats to safety and preventing tragedies. This bill builds on the Secret Service’s case study research on targeted school violence and enables the National Threat Assessment Center to train more of our nation’s schools in how to conduct threat assessments and early interventions. Equipping our communities and schools with training and best practices to recognize and prevent school violence is an important step toward preventing future tragedies, and an important way to honor victims of school violence.”
Finally, Senator Hatch noted that “Last month Congress passed the STOP School Violence Act to empower entire school ecosystems to play a stronger and more active role in violence prevention. This proposal will help U.S. Secret Service leverage their own unique expertise in that same effort, and will save lives.”