Trump’s School Safety Plan Includes Hardening Schools, Strengthening Background Checks, Mental Health Reform

By Melanie Arter | March 12, 2018 | 9:35pm EDT

( - The White House on Monday rolled out President Donald Trump’s school safety plan, which focuses on four areas: hardening schools, strengthening background checks, mental health reform, and reviewing funding proposals for preventing school violence.

The president’s plan to harden schools includes providing firearms training to “specially qualified school personnel on a voluntary basis” using Department of Justice assistance programs that will allow schools to partner with local law enforcement.The administration plans to support military veterans and retired law enforcement who want to transition into a career in education.

As part of an effort to strengthen background checks, the president is calling on every state to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), which allows the police - with court approval - to remove guns from people who are a demonstrated threat to themselves or others and to temporarily prevent certain people from buying new weapons.

The president also supports improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, as proposed by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), which holds federal agencies accountable for reporting information to NICS and incentivizes states to improve reporting.

Trump also supports the framework of the STOP School Violence Act, which gives state-based grants to implement evidence-based violence prevention programs.

The president is proposing increased integration of mental health, primary care, and family services, as well as support for programs that utilize court-ordered treatment. The plan also calls for a review of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other statutory and regulatory privacy protections.

Finally, the president is calling for the establishment of a federal commission chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos “to address school safety and the culture of violence.” It will study and make recommendations on a number of areas, including: age restrictions for certain firearm purchases; existing entertainment rating systems and youth consumption of violent entertainment; the effects of press coverage of mass shootings; repeal of the Obama administration’s ‘Rethink School Discipline’ policies; and the effectiveness and appropriateness of psychotropic medication for treatment of troubled youth.


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