WASHINGTON – Today, United States Congresswoman Jahana Hayes spoke at the House Committee on Education & Labor in support of H.R. 4301, the School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act. The bill, which is cosponsored by Congresswomen Hayes, Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), and Lucy McBath (GA-06), would create a federal definition for “school shooting” and instructs the Department of Education, in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, to annually report uniform data on school shootings. The bill passed the Committee on Education & Labor and is headed to the floor for a full vote by the House.
In her remarks, the Congresswoman stated: “We need more than prevention drills, we need legislation. Since Sandy Hook, there have been 473 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 182 deaths. The number keeps rising and no significant action has taken place.”
The School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act has been endorsed by the National Education Association, Sandy Hook Promise, the Council of Great City Schools, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the American School Counselor Association, the School Social Work Association, Newtown Action Alliance, and Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action.
Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations National Education Association said: “NEA members support the School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act because it takes a number of steps to track and categorize these tragic incidents, yielding valuable information that will help us safeguard school communities. Gun violence destabilizes us all; no one—least of all children—should have to endure it. We must do all we can to stop the next school shooting from happening. The School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act will help us learn more about these horrific incidents so that we can prevent them.”
Sandy Hook Promise said: “Congress must take a comprehensive and holistic approach to ending gun violence. One critical step to combating this epidemic is to have the data and research today that can drive the meaningful solutions of tomorrow. As you well know, there is currently no legal definition of ‘school shooting’ recognized by the federal government. H.R. 4301would create such a definition and codify it into federal law. Sandy Hook Promise is proud to support H.R. 4301, and we urge its swift passage.”
The Council of Great City Schools said: “Following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Board of Directors of the Council of the Great City Schools unanimously passed a resolution committing our 76 member school districts to supporting a sweeping series of federal actions to curb the availability of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition; increase federal assistance for school counselors, social workers, and intervention programs; provide aid for building security alterations; support coordination with other local agencies; promote firearm safety programs; AND collect data to track, monitor, understand, and prevent gun violence in America. H.R. 4301 takes a welcomed step forward in collecting and analyzing national data on all-too-frequent school shootings.”
*A copy of the bill can be seen here:
Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year. Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.