Friday, July 22, 2016

Representative Gwen Graham Announces Secure our Schools Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFriday, July 22, 2016
Contact: Matt Harringer, Communications Director | 202-225-5235
Representative Gwen Graham Announces Secure our Schools Act

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Representative Gwen Graham met with law enforcement, teachers, parents and students at City Hall to discuss making our schools safer, and she announced new legislation to meet that goal.

Rep. Graham’s legislation, the Secure our Schools Act, would authorize the Department of Justice to issue grants to local school districts to install “SOS buttons” in classrooms. These buttons provide an alternative and immediate means of notifying law enforcement and first responders in case of an emergency.

Representative Graham attributed her motivation for the legislation to recent tragedies around the country and abroad: “In recent years, we’ve seen far too many heartbreaking and shocking episodes of violence.  We must work together to make our country and Florida safer. This legislation will help better secure our schools from violence and potential acts of terrorism.”
Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood said, “The safety and security of our children is paramount. It is a privilege to be part of the discussion with Representative Graham on this relevant and necessary legislation.”

Several panelist at the roundtable said this technology could especially be helpful for Florida’s rural schools, where there are less law enforcement tasked with covering a greater amount of area.

“We need to make sure every student is safe, whether they live in a city or in rural areas,” Rep. Graham said. “This legislation will help schools and law enforcement communicate better in every community.”

“When my daughter is at school, I want to know that she is safe and protected,” said Adam Montgomery, a local parent in attendance. "I’m proud of Congresswoman Graham for introducing the S.O.S. button legislation; this technology is a great step in school safety.”

Students from FSU’s Master in Applied American Politics program helped plan and carry out the event. Student Vanessa Butwell said the roundtable was informative. “It was powerful to watch Rep. Graham sit down with her constituents and listen to their concerns on such  an important issue. This is how you lead, by listening.” 

The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Boast (R-IL).