TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Senators Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) introduced the Luke and Alex School Safety Act of 2021 on Friday to codify into law the Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety.
The clearinghouse, available by clicking here, informs parents and educators on expert recommendations and best practices that schools can implement to improve school security. The clearinghouse also provides information on available federal resources and grant programs that can be used toward these safety measures.
The Luke and Alex School Safety Act is named after Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, two students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack in Parkland, Fla. Luke and Alex’s parents, along with the group Stand with Parkland, have fought tirelessly for Congress to take common-sense steps like the clearinghouse to prepare schools and protect students from harm in the event of an attack.
“Nearly three years ago, we lost 17 innocent lives in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida," said Senator Scott. "I think about those lives lost, and the families impacted every day. Since that horrible day, I’ve worked closely with many of the victims’ family members as Governor and now as Senator to ensure no child, educator, or family has to experience that again. This legislation, the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, honors two of the victims, Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, and builds on our work to keep schools safe and prevent another tragedy. I will never stop working to protect our students and educators, and ensure they have a safe environment to learn and succeed.”
“The Parkland shooting is a tragedy I will never forget, and I was proud of the work I was able to accomplish with the families and the previous administration to help ensure school districts have a reliable central authority, or clearinghouse, where evidence-based and successful models for school safety measures are available,” Senator Rubio said. “I also led a bipartisan, bicameral effort urging the federal commission on school safety to include such a clearinghouse in their recommendations, which they ultimately did. This central point of information to improve school safety must be available to states and local education agencies, which is why I support codifying a Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices to fulfill that need. Congress should act swiftly to pass this bill.”
- In July 2019, Sen. Johnson held a hearing at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to examine state and federal recommendations for enhancing school safety against targeted violence. Among the witnesses were two fathers whose sons were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school attack – Max Schachter, father of Alex Schachter and founder of Safe Schools for Alex, and Tom Hoyer, father of Luke Hoyer and treasurer of Stand with Parkland.
- In November 2019, Sen. Johnson (R-Wis.) the Luke and Alex School Safety Act of 2019. The bill, named after Alex Schachter and Luke Hoyer, would create a Federal School Safety Clearinghouse.