Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced two bills to provide resources for enhancing school security and keeping students safe.
The first, the Protect America’s Schools Act, would provide $1.5 billion in supplemental appropriations to the Community Oriented Policing Services’ School Resource Officer program. The second, the Veterans Securing Schools Act, would allow Veterans hired by a state or local agency to serve as School Resource Officers. This bill gives state and local law enforcement agencies greater flexibility in hiring Veterans to protect school campuses.
These two bills are the direct results of input from sheriffs and law enforcement officers across Western North Carolina.
Rep. Meadows released the following statement:
“Our country is in the midst of a defining moment where we have an opportunity to come together and develop common sense solutions to safeguard our children in school. While gun control is not the answer, the best and most effective path forward, I believe, is one that safeguards our schools from becoming “soft targets,” or areas with little to stand in the way of someone with bad intentions. The two bills I’m introducing today—one to commit $1.5 billion to the school resource officer program, and one to allow state and local employed veterans to serve as school security officers—will go a long way in helping provide schools both adequate resources and trained personnel to protect our kids.
In particular, I want to thank our local law enforcement officials in my district—their input and expertise have been invaluable as we look to find solutions on how to keep our children safe in school. No matter where you stand on the issue of gun safety, one principle remains true: when the people closest to the issues at home are directly involved in the conversation, it produces good results. I thank them for their willingness to engage.”
Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald, who recently attended a school safety roundtable at the White House hosted by President Trump, gave the following statement regarding the process in developing this legislation:
“As the discussion about our need to properly secure our schools continues, once again we see the benefit an advocate for our district like Congressman Mark Meadows brings to the table. I supported Congressman Meadows’ original Protect America’s Schools Act in 2013, as he tried to assist local law enforcement in delivering a safer school environment for our children, and I have seen his unwavering support for securing our communities ever since. As counties like ours look at the myriad of options to improve school safety, this initial funding for School Resource Officers is a great step to ensure that our local governments have access to the funding they need should they determine that increased officer presence is one facet of the strategy they want to adopt. I appreciate Congressman Meadows for once again taking the lead in this area and join him in supporting this critical effort.”
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