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house Bill H.R. 1593

Should DHS be Better Prepared to Address Threats Against Schools?

Argument in favor

The Dept. of Homeland Security's efforts to ensure schools’ safety don’t exist in a vacuum. It’d be useful for DHS and other agencies to coordinate their efforts — and an interagency coordinating council would serve that purpose.

Robert's Opinion
···
04/01/2019
Get rid of guns, love of guns, abolish assault weapons-automatic killing machines.aka grow a conscience😩
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KAG-2020's Opinion
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03/31/2019
This would not be an issue if we didn’t have Crap/non responsible parenting at home-and an epidemic of single parent homes. Kids need to grow up observing loving and responsible parents- Or they just grow up being parented by a troubled world/internet- with lots of trouble and low pay. Just ask any reasonable teacher!
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Joseph's Opinion
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04/01/2019
Fund educators properly, lower the number of students school counselors have to handle, and increase the number of mental health professionals in schools. https://josephgeorge4neabsco.com
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Argument opposed

DHS has already established its own Executive Steering Committee to coordinate department-wide efforts to ensure school safety, and President Trump has also assembled a Federal Commission on School Safety so this is unnecessary.

Joe's Opinion
···
04/01/2019
Nearly twenty years after the massacre at Columbine High School and following an uninterrupted string of school shootings nationwide, Americans still have a Congress without enough backbone to stand up to the gun manufacturers' lobbying arm (the NRA) and give us meaningful gun control. Instead, they give us garbage bills with cutesy acronym that do nothing. This bill is useless.
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Nick-Papagiorgio's Opinion
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03/31/2019
This is more if that “slow march toward fascism” that the republicans seem so quick to embrace. They say: “we need more cops, more surveillance, less freedom, less liberty” to be “safe”. I say bullshit! Let’s just gets guns out of our society. It has worked for every country that has tried it.
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Dara's Opinion
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03/31/2019
We already have trainings and plans in place. The problem lies within personal responsibility for individual actions. Parents and local communities need to be more observant and responsible. Schools aren’t and shouldn’t be prisons. We as a nation need to stop making excuses for bad behavior. Our society has lost its way. Personal responsibility and parenting.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1593?

This bill — the CLASS Act of 2019 — would seek to improve the Dept. of Homeland Security’s (DHS) preparedness to address the elevated threats against K-12 schools, early childhood education programs, and secondary schools.

Specifically, this bill would:

  • Establish a coordinating council at DHS to ensure that DHS’ school security activities, plans, and policies are coordinated;
  • Bring the Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans; the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection (CISA); FEMA Administrator; the Secret Service Director; the Executive Director of the Office of Academic Engagement; and the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs together as members of the council; and
  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to give relevant Congressional Committees an annual report on the council’s work.

This bill’s full title is the Coordinating and Leveraging Activities for School Security (CLASS) Act.

Impact

Students; schools; school safety; DHS; Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans; the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection (CISA); FEMA Administrator; the Secret Service Director; the Executive Director of the Office of Academic Engagement; and the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1593

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to make the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) better prepared to address increasing threats to school security:

“Nearly twenty years after the massacre at Columbine High School and following an uninterrupted string of school shootings nationwide, American schools remain vulnerable to mass shootings. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left twenty children and six adults dead, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began directing action to improve school security. Unfortunately, no one has been directed to make sure DHS school security plans are effectively implemented. The CLASS Act will remedy that defect by establishing a council to coordinate the Department’s school security activities. Ensuring that America’s schools are safe from gun violence is a non-partisan objective. Every Member of Congress should be moved by the voices of young people speaking up to demand that their educational facilities be safe from gun violence. I welcome the Department of Homeland Security’s cooperation to make schools safer for everyone.”
This bill has two Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it had one cosponsor, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteSince the Columbine High School shooting in 1996, school security measures have increased significantly. Today, nearly 100 percent of schools serving 12- to 18-year olds use at least one safety or security measure, including locked doors, security cameras, hallway supervision, controlled building access, metal detectors, and locker checks.

In 2017, the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice reported that “[t]hough there have been a number of high-profile school shootings in the U.S. over the past several years, homicides at schools are rare. Further, today’s students are less likely to be threatened or injured with a weapon (such as a gun, knife, or club) at school than 10 years ago.” Specifically, the National Institute of Justice noted:

  • From 2003-2013, fewer students ages 12-18 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property (nine percent in 2003 versus seven percent in 2013);
  • From 1993 to 2013, fewer students in grades 9-12 reported carrying a weapon on school property (12 percent in 1993 versus five percent in 2013), and over the same time period, fewer students reported carrying a weapon anywhere, including at school; and
  • Since 1992, the percentage of youth homicides occurring at school has been under three percent of the total number of youth homicides.

The National Institute of Justice concluded that “school violence is not so much new as it is something that has gained attention in the past 20 years or so.” However, it also noted that “traumatic events at school are not rare,” when “traumatic events” are defined as shootings, natural disasters, fires, pandemics, homicides, suicides, or intense bullying.

DHS has already stepped up its efforts to prevent gun violence in schools in response to shootings in Parkland, FL and other places. It conducts training exercises and preparedness activities to increase schools’ safety. DHS Secretary Kirsten Nielsen says of these efforts:

“No child should have to worry about their safety when in school. [DHS’] top priority is to keep the American people safe, and we are closely examining ways to better protect our nation’s students and schools from gun violence. While state and local partners have primary responsibility for the physical security at schools, through trainings, best practices guides, workshops, and tabletop exercises, we hope to improve awareness and foster a culture of preparedness. We are working with partners around the country to harden these vulnerable targets. By ensuring administrators and stakeholders in the K-12 and higher education communities, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and first responders are part of this effort, we can better educate the entire community on threats to school safety. The public is often our greatest partner in identifying suspicious activity, and we are strengthening public awareness campaigns to encourage everyone—students, teachers, and their communities—to report suspicious school-related activity to local law enforcement.”

To help coordinate the Department’s wide range of activities, DHS has established a department-wide Executive Steering Committee to drive DHS school security efforts, support state and local efforts, and ensure DHS’ resources and expertise are best leveraged to protect schools against attack.

In March 2018, President Donald Trump appointed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to lead the Federal Commission on School Safety. This Commission was charged with providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school. It delivered its final report, outlining a holistic approach to improving school safety, to the president on December 18, 2018. The Commission’s members included: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Allkindza)

AKA

CLASS Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a school security coordinating council, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed April 1st, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 384 Yea / 18 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedMarch 7th, 2019

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    Get rid of guns, love of guns, abolish assault weapons-automatic killing machines.aka grow a conscience😩
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    Nearly twenty years after the massacre at Columbine High School and following an uninterrupted string of school shootings nationwide, Americans still have a Congress without enough backbone to stand up to the gun manufacturers' lobbying arm (the NRA) and give us meaningful gun control. Instead, they give us garbage bills with cutesy acronym that do nothing. This bill is useless.
    Like (67)
    Follow
    Share
    This is more if that “slow march toward fascism” that the republicans seem so quick to embrace. They say: “we need more cops, more surveillance, less freedom, less liberty” to be “safe”. I say bullshit! Let’s just gets guns out of our society. It has worked for every country that has tried it.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    Fund educators properly, lower the number of students school counselors have to handle, and increase the number of mental health professionals in schools. https://josephgeorge4neabsco.com
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    This would not be an issue if we didn’t have Crap/non responsible parenting at home-and an epidemic of single parent homes. Kids need to grow up observing loving and responsible parents- Or they just grow up being parented by a troubled world/internet- with lots of trouble and low pay. Just ask any reasonable teacher!
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    We already have trainings and plans in place. The problem lies within personal responsibility for individual actions. Parents and local communities need to be more observant and responsible. Schools aren’t and shouldn’t be prisons. We as a nation need to stop making excuses for bad behavior. Our society has lost its way. Personal responsibility and parenting.
    Like (35)
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    This matter is best addressed at the local level. The federal government should and can not be relied on in every aspect of the lives of the citizens of this country.
    Like (16)
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    This is a state issue!
    Like (14)
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    The DHS should do studies on gun violence and work for sensible gun regulation. Don’t make this an attempt to arm teachers or put guards in schools.
    Like (14)
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    I’m not sure how effective this legislation is going to be. We know what the problems are! One of them is that this country is awash in guns! We have more than enough guns for every man, woman, and child! We need much more effective gun control laws including universal background checks, a renewed assault weapons ban, and red flag laws! We also have a mental health crisis which also leads to these kinds of tragedies including suicides. The U.S. needs a much more robust mental health system as well in order to address the the violence that we see happening far too often!
    Like (11)
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    School safety starts at home, and is best dealt with at the local and State levels, the federal government needs to be reduced to only an advisory capacity to State governments, many of the problems we have is because federal interference in local levels, the federal government needs to insure States follow the constitution, and federal duty’s that’s it.
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    100 years ago, most boy went to school with their guns. It was a common thing back when the Bible was taught to students. Fear of God, love of country along with a stable family made chewing gum the biggest problem back then. The secular progressives have ruined public education!
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    Another useless bill introduced by a Democrat looking to cash in on political capital from looking like he supposedly is doing something about school shootings. We all know the real problems that cause this but no politician will say it and work the real issues at hand. The “family unit” has been destroyed and we took religion out of schools! Couple this with families trying to make ends meet even with two parents working. Then sprinkle in the high divorce rate due to the throw away society mentality and you get the crap we live in today. So parents feel guilty they aren’t spending as much time with the kids that they should because of job demands. This is BS. Live within your means people! But our society grades you not on quality but quantity. How much money you make, how big a house you have, how extravagant a vacation you go on, etc... add in violent movies from Hollywood, violent video games and children who don’t have to do chores for any of it. We even give them an allowance and/or trophy for doing nothing. They don’t even have to try and compete and they get a trophy. Then we send them to a school where teachers who were failed by poor parents at home adopt extreme liberal views and teach them to our kids. Sprinkle in the outlet they talk to the most called social media (corrupt and warped social media that is) and then wonder why kids no longer have a moral compass. So they huff, puff, vape, inject, cut, rape and even kill to feel something when all they really want is a hug and love. Eliminate these vices and guns would never come into the equation. When was the last time your kid went to confession??????
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    WHY NOT SUPPORT THE HOMELAND SECURITY SCHOOL EFFORTS The Dept. of Homeland Security's efforts to ensure schools’ safety don’t exist in a vacuum. It’d be useful for DHS and other agencies to coordinate their efforts — and an interagency coordinating council would serve that purpose. SneakyPete......... 👍🏻👍🏻SECURITY👍🏻👍🏻. 3*31*19.........
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    How about just get rid of the NRA and all its stupid gun-fetish culture-conditioning via the NRA-bribed GOP? Let’s just start there. No need to further bloat the already-bloated DHS.
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    The only thing that is going to be effective to ensure the safety of our schools and our communities against gun violence is WHAT EVERY OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRY OF THE WORLD HAS ALREADY SUCCESSFULLY DONE! BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS, UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS, AND STRICTER GUN LAWS! IT HAS WORKED IN EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD! EVERY SINGLE ONE! E VERY SINGLE TIME! AND KEEP DHS OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS--THE ONLY THING THEY KNOW TO DO TO CHILDREN IS SEXUALLY AND PHYSICALLY ASSAULT THEM!
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    Trump administration should stay far away from anything and everything.
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    Local authorities should be the ones training and planning for emergencies at schools. While it is good to coordinate with DHS, no need to make government bigger. This is already being done.
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    DHS addressing school shootings would be a better use of their time than locking asylum seekers under bridges so they freeze to death. But can we please finally fire all the racist ones? The way this country is going I’m afraid they’ll be armed and shoot minorities first before finding out the shooter is some white incel with a history of violence. he’ll probably shoot up the school cause he’s angry that the girl he’s been sexually harassing rejected him again. That’s generally the reasons they do it and our lax laws let them legally buy guns.
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    Common sense gun laws, waiting periods for thorough background checks would help. Students have been practicing luck down drills for 20 years now! If not now, when?
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