The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 seeks to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, respond quickly to, and prevent acts of violence. Both the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) offer grants to improve security within our Nation's schools and on school grounds through evidence-based programs.
How BJA Supports the STOP School Violence Act of 2018
BJA provides grants to states, units of local government, and Indian tribes to:
- Train school personnel and educate students on preventing student violence against others and themselves.
- Develop and operate technology solutions, such as anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence, including mobile telephone applications, hotlines, and internet websites.
- Develop and operate:
- School threat assessment and intervention teams that may include coordination with law enforcement agencies and school personnel
- Specialized training for school officials in responding to mental health crises
- Support any other measure that, in the determination of the BJA Director, may provide a significant improvement in training, threat assessments and reporting, and violence prevention.
Evidence-based Strategies and Programs
Award recipients must use evidence-based strategies and programs such as those identified by the National Institute of Justice's Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. Specifically, the STOP Violence Act requires that any programs, practices, technologies, or equipment funded by BJA demonstrate a statistically significant effect on outcomes based on:
- Strong evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented experimental study
- Moderate evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study
Promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias.
Guidelines for Using Technology
All technology must be consistent with best practices for school security, including:
- Applicable standards for school security established by a federal or state government agency
- Findings and recommendations of public commissions and task forces established to make recommendations or set standards for school security
- Compliance with all applicable codes, including building and life safety codes
Eligibility (Who May Apply)
The following entities are eligible to apply:
- State governments
- City or township governments
- County governments
- Units of local governments
- Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
- Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
- Private institutions of higher education
- Independent school districts
- Public and state-controlled institutions of higher education
Applicants may propose to use the grant to contract with, or make one or more subawards to:
- Local educational agencies
- Nonprofit organizations
- Units of local government or tribal organizations
NOTE: Under the STOP School Violence Act, BJA funds cannot be used for the purchase of target hardening equipment to secure schools such as cameras, security systems, fencing, locks, etc. In addition, these funds cannot be used to hire armed security officers or school resource officers. Applicants interested in funding for target hardening equipment should see the COPS School Violence Prevention Program.
See the Funding page for information about current opportunities available from BJA through this program.