Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

Bring Security Back to Education


Our country was horrified by the evil acts perpetrated in Uvalde, TX, that stole the lives of 19 children and two adults. Americans are rightfully asking the question, “what can we do to ensure this does not happen again?” Parents should never be afraid of sending their children to school, and we must find a way to bring security back to education.


Unfortunately, the solutions put forth by Congressional Democrats are not solutions at all, but a band aid designed to capitalize on tragedy and promote their agenda to limit the Second Amendment for law abiding citizens. Republicans have concerns with Democrats proposed measures. For example, the red flag law voted on this week in Congress would strip Americans of their right to due process by assuming an accused individual’s guilt and stripping him of his right to a firearm before he is allowed to defend himself in court. Guilty before proven innocent is the antithesis of a fair judicial process.


Trampling on Constitutional rights and instituting a one-size-fits-all solution won’t solve problems, and it won’t make schools safer. That is why I joined Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-8) in introducing the STOP II, Secure Every School and Protect our Nation’s Children Act. STOP II redirects $7 billion in unused COVID-19 funds to provide mental health guidance counselors, increase the number of school resource officers, and strengthen school security. In addition, STOP II closes loopholes in school security protocols by allowing schools to apply for grants to complete risk assessments and identify gaps in mental health services for students. It also permanently creates a centralized program within the Department of Homeland Security to assess, identify, and share best practices related to school safety. To improve emergency preparedness, STOP II requires federal agencies to continuously update, develop, and provide training materials on bullying and cyberbullying, emergency planning, mental health, and targeted violence to help schools prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from a range of school safety threats, hazards, and emergency situations.


I agree with Americans who see the need for change to address school safety, but we must create laws that will make a difference, instead of an emotional, knee-jerk reaction that could do more harm than good. Through this bill, we will empower communities to devote resources to the areas where they see need, instead of imposing the weight of the federal government on law abiding citizens who would never engage in violence. I hope my Democrat colleagues will focus Congress’ efforts on school safety instead of on sabotaging Constitutional rights.


6-10-22 12:21 p.m. KAWX.ORG