The STOP School Violence Act is designed to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to quickly recognize and respond to violent attacks, mitigate risk exposure, and prevent acts of violence. It provides funding to state, local, and Indian tribal governments to develop threat assessment and crisis intervention teams and anonymous reporting systems designed to identify threats before they materialize, including those that originate from individuals with mental health issues; and for the training of students, school personnel, and local law enforcement officers so that they can partner in preventing violent events from happening.
In 2020, the Department will accept applications under the following purpose areas:
- Train school personnel and educate students on preventing student violence against others and themselves to include anti-bullying training. This can also include specialized training for school officials to respond to mental health crises.
- Develop and implement threat assessment and/or intervention teams to operate technology solutions such as anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence, including mobile telephone applications, hotlines, and websites. These teams must coordinate with law enforcement agencies and school personnel.
Priority consideration will be provided for applications that:
- Address the specific challenges that rural communities face.
- Encourage program investments in economically distressed communities (e.g. Qualified Opportunity Zones).
For resources on QOZs, and for a current list of designated QOZs, see the U.S. Department of the Treasurys resource webpage, accessible at https://www.cdfifund.gov/pages/opportunity-zones.aspx.
Each application shall be accompanied by an assurance that the application was prepared after consultation with individuals not limited to law enforcement officers (such as school violence researchers, licensed mental health professionals, social workers, teachers, principals, and other school personnel) to ensure that the improvements to be funded under the grant are (1) consistent with a comprehensive approach to preventing school violence; and (2) individualized to the needs of each school at which those improvements are to be made.
All applications must include in their application materials a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the lead law enforcement agency and the corresponding lead school official.