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John Rutherford says his school safety bill gives schools grants to prevent future violence

March 5, 2018 GMT

Rep. John Rutherford said Monday that his bill to address school safety provides the resources to better protect these facilities from future attacks.

“What this bill will do is provide the resources through school safety grants to allow schools to look at their facility, make those improvements, with a 75 percent match,” the Florida Republican said on Fox News. ”[The bill will] provide dollars for the training so students, teachers, and officers to know what to look for, and then also provide some dollars for them to set up an anonymous tip line.”

He did say, however, that it is impossible to completely prevent violence in schools, pointing to last month’s shooting in his home state that left 17 people dead, including 14 students, calling it “an example of how everything can go wrong.”

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Authorities apparently knew the accused gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was troubled. Neighbors and those who knew Mr. Cruz called the police over a dozen times about his tendency towards violence. The FBI also received two tips about Mr. Cruz that were never passed on to the Miami office.

Police on scene at the school during the shooting reportedly waited to go in, prompting lawmakers in Florida to push for an inquiry into the shooting and police actions that day.

Mr. Rutherford’s bill the Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act is co-sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch, Florida Democrat, and has gained some bipartisan support in the House.

Many survivors of the attack have made gun laws a top priority, marching to the state capital, and demanding change from lawmakers. Some survivors and parents, however, say that safety measures inside the schools need to be addressed before gun control laws overall.