Texas Republican Pushes School Safety Grant Program After Maryland Shooting

After gunfire rang out at Maryland’s Great Mills High School on Tuesday, Republican Representative Roger Williams, of Texas, said he believes that his school security bill could prevent similar incidents. 

Williams's bill, HR 5107, would create a grant program under the Department of Education to keep schools safe and directs the DOE's secretary to allocate funds after a school submits an application.

Schools could use the grants to “make the necessary improvements to the security of the elementary schools and secondary schools” based on an individual security assessment that the DOE undertook.

“We're not arming teachers. Every school's going to be different, but it will allow that school to begin to secure their buildings so we don't have these issues like again happened today in Maryland,” Williams told ABC News on Tuesday.

The shooting at Great Mills High School left the 17-year-old gunman dead after he shot two of his classmates. It marks the 17th school shooting this year, according to CNN's research.

“I don't think, though, when you start talking about the gun debate, that we need to disarm the good people, but that's the debate we're going to have,” Williams told ABC. “But that debate does not to be ahead of school safety. That's why I want this bill to get through, get it passed and get the president to sign it.”

In a recent op-ed for the Waco Tribune-Herald, Williams suggested that necessary improvements could include metal detectors, steel doors and bulletproof glass, as well as emergency training and additional law enforcement. 

“However, none of this is achievable under current law, which only intensifies the need for HR 5107," Williams said.

Williams introduced the bill on February 28, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students and staff members. Williams himself was caught in crossfire when a gunman shot at lawmakers during Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, last summer.

The event left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the Republican from Louisiana, in critical condition and injured several others, including a legislative correspondent to Williams.

 

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