$2.5M awarded to Oklahoma schools to prevent school violence

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Department of Justice awarded more than $85 million in grants to address school violence across the US.

On Monday, the DOJ awarded $85.3 million to bolster school security, including funding to educate and train students and faculty, and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident.

Oklahoma received approximately $2.5 million in funding to prevent violence in schools.

“These federal resources will help to prevent school violence and give our students the support they need to learn, grow, and thrive,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By training faculty, students and first responders, and by improving school security measures, we can make schools and their communities safer.”

“Our schools should be safe havens where children can go to learn free from fear of evildoers. Moreover, parents should not have to fear for the safety of their children while at school. I’m proud the Department of Justice is helping to make Oklahoma schools safer. The Oklahoma Department of Education will receive more than $2.5 million in critical funds to enhance mental health services, training, and technology to safeguard our children,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Oklahoma’s children, teachers, school administrators and staff should know the United States Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice are committed to ensuring their safety.”

In March 2018, President Donald Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law, authorizing grants that are designed to improve threat assessments, train students and faculty to provide tips and leads, and prepare law enforcement officers and emergency professionals to respond to school shootings and other violent incidents. 

Those receiving the funding in Oklahoma are:

COPS’ School Violence Prevention Program

• Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (Northern District of Oklahoma): $67,425

• Oklahoma City Public Schools: $500,000

BJA’s STOP School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment Solutions for Safer Schools Program

-Rural area or small county with a population fewer than 100,000

• Stillwell Public Schools: $149, 975

-Anonymous Reporting:

• Norman Public Schools: $100,000

• Oklahoma State Department of Education: $250,000

-State School Safety Centers

• Oklahoma State Department of Education: $996,855

BJA’s STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program

-State with population fewer than 5 million

• Oklahoma State Department of Education: $498,997

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), within the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services manage the programs and administer the grants, which include funds to:

  • Develop school threat assessment teams and pursue technological solutions to improve reporting of suspicious activity in and around schools
  • Implement or improve school safety measures, including coordination with law enforcement, as well as the use of metal detectors, locks, lighting and other deterrent measures
  • Train law enforcement to help deter student violence against others and themselves
  • Improve notification to first responders through implementation of technology that expedites emergency notifications
  • Develop and operate anonymous reporting systems to encourage safe reporting of potential school threats
  • Train school officials to intervene when mentally ill individuals threaten school safety
  • Provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs

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