WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress on Wednesday passed a bipartisan proposal introduced by U.S. Reps. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, and Brad Schneider, D-Deerfield, to help schools acquire and install panic buttons for alerting law enforcement to incidents of classroom violence.
Introduced in January, the legislation was incorporated into H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act, a broader package aimed at addressing school safety, which passed the House Wednesday by a vote of 407-10. The measure now moves to the Senate.
“As a former first responder, I know response time is vitally important during emergency situations,” said Bost. “We have panic buttons in banks, office buildings, and retail locations, there is no reason we shouldn’t have them at our schools to protect our children. I’m proud the House passed this bipartisan, commonsense proposal I worked on with Representative Schneider to protect our kids.”
“Representative Bost’s work on the STOP School Violence Act improved this legislation and will help make our communities safer,” said Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “By including his SOS Act in the final bill that passed the House today, schools will have critical resources to improve safety and put them in more direct and discreet contact with local law enforcement in an emergency. Mike deserves a lot of credit for his work to make American schools safer.”
“We have a responsibility to protect our children and young people where they learn,” said Schneider. “I am proud of the bipartisan support Congressman Bost and I have built together for the Securing Our Schools Act, and am very pleased this commonsense idea has now passed the House. This should be just the start of our work here in Congress on solutions to reduce gun violence and improve student safety, and I look forward to building on this progress in the days ahead.”
Bost and Schneider’s bill, titled the Securing Our Schools Act, has more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors, including Illinois Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville. It also has the support of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Education Association.