US House passes school safety bill in wake of Parkland shooting

By Fallon Silcox, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 3:57 PM EDT

One month to the day since 17 people were killed in a shooting in Parkland, the U.S. House approved a bill to improve school safety.

The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 had bipartisan support and passed 407-10 on Wednesday.

It's the first gun-related action taken by Congress since the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

One thing the bill does not cover is any gun-related provisions.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already signed a controversial bill that, among other things, would raise the age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 and would allow some teachers to be armed.

However, the House bill doesn't go that far. Instead, it attempts to prevent school violence by providing funding for things such as creating an anonymous reporting system and mental health crisis training, plus adding money for more deterrents like metal detectors.

The bill authorizes $500 million over 10 years to fund the initiatives.

Some Democrats have criticized it for not doing enough, but Republicans praised what it's doing.

"The STOP School Violence Act directly addresses flaws in the system that failed to prevent violence in schools. It's a historic involvement of a billion dollars in school safety infrastructure, training for the entire school ecosystem, formation of crisis intervention teams with mental health professionals, better coordination between schools and law enforcement," said Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Florida Rep. John Rutherford, a former Jacksonville sheriff, sponsored the bill, which now goes to the Senate.