On Anniversary of Parkland Massacre, Senators to Introduce Bill to Improve School Safety
Feb 13, 2019
Named after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Mascot, EAGLES Act enlists Secret Service program to identify potential threats of violence
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, Thursday, February 14, on the anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a group of U.S. Senators, led by Chuck Grassley of Iowa, will introduce legislation to proactively mitigate threats of violence on school campuses by expand the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center. The EAGLES Act is cosponsored by senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).
“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 avital step toward preventing future tragedies, and an important way to honor victims of school violence,” Grassley said.
“To prevent future tragedies, we must be proactive and utilize a multi-pronged approach to identify and stop any threats. This bill will help ensure we are more effectively leveraging the top-notch research conducted by the experts at the National Threat Assessment Center to stop school violence and help keep our communities safe. This bill will expand threat assessment programs so that more school districts can be trained to identify threats and properly intervene. I thank Senator Grassley for continued leadership on this legislation. I urge my colleagues to join this worthy effort and quickly pass this bill,” Rubio said.
“As an avid outdoorsman and responsible gun owner, I believe that there are common sense steps we can take to prevent gun violence and keep students safe. One of these steps is the EAGLES Act, which expands the role of the National Threat Assessment Center to provide research, resources, and training to prevent targeted violence. I look forward to partnering with Senator Grassley and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this legislation becomes law,” Jones said.
"Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and our hearts are heavy as we remember the 17 victims. I will never stop fighting for the safety of our children at school and in our communities, and I am happy to support the EAGLES Act to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again,” Scott said.
“On the anniversary of the tragic and deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Parkland Massacre, we need to take commonsense steps to make sure our law enforcement community understands and mitigates threats on school grounds. This bipartisan legislation is a good step towards protecting our children and preventing violent acts on school campuses,” Manchin said.
“Schools must be safe places for our students to learn and thrive. We are all appalled by the tragedies and violence in our schools. This bipartisan legislation would help prevent acts of violence before they occur and provide much needed resources to those in our schools – teachers, students, counselors, and school administrators – as well as law enforcement, mental health professionals, and everyone in our communities working to keep our schools safe,” Gardner said.
“The United States Secret Service is very pleased to see the re-introduction of the EAGLES Act. This act will further support our efforts to mitigate all forms of targeted violence through comprehensive threat assessment programs. The EAGLES Act will allow us, through our National Threat Assessment Center, to enhance our collaborative efforts with federal, state, and local partners in the areas of training, consultation, research, and information sharing. The EAGLES Act is a proactive step aimed at reducing targeted violence within our communities,” the U.S. Secret Service said.
The U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) was created in 1998 to develop evidence-based indicators for various types of targeted violence, including school violence. NTAC’s findings can then be used to develop best practices and training to prevent future acts of violence. Since 2002, Secret Service has conducted 444 training operations to 93,000 school administrators, teachers, counselors, mental health professionals, school resource officers and other public safety partners. The EAGLES Act, named for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mascot, reauthorizes and expands NTAC, allowing it to scale its threat assessment operations, with a particular focus on school safety.
The bill establishes a national program on targeted school violence prevention and provides additional resources to expand research and training on a national scale. Through the bill’s school safety initiative, the NTAC will coordinate trainings and plans with the Department of Justice and Department of Education. The bill also requires Secret Service to provide periodic progress reports to Congress.
The EAGLES Act is supported by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Sandy Hook Promise.