Sen. Roger Marshall Wants to use COVID Relief Funds to Harden Schools

Clay Center, KS– A press conference by Senator Roger Marshall this morning after announcing the Safe Schools Act.  Senator Marshall commented on what happened in Uvalde and said it was a horrific tragedy, and that while we are still learning about the security that was or was not in place at Robb Elementary School, he stated that one thing that we can and must do is do everything in our power to harden schools so our children are as safe as our politicians and professional athletes.

 
U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. and U.S. Congressman Mike Garcia (CA-25) introduced the Safe Schools Act, legislation to allow COVID relief dollars allocated to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to be used by schools to harden themselves with physical security measures, such as locks, panic buttons, individual room security systems, video surveillance, and hiring and paying the salaries of armed school resource officers. The legislation will exempt expenses for school security improvements
 

 
The Kansas Department of Education has only spent $261.3 million of the available $1.28 billion.
 
While we made some progress in previous legislation to make our schools stronger, harder, and safer, certainly there is more that can and must be done immediately to protect kids according to Marshall.
 
Senator Marshall doesn’t want to tell each school how to use these funds, but suggests updating doors, windows, and locks.
 

 
This money has already been allocated to the schools; however this bill will allow the schools to determine how to spend this money and make them safer.
 
Senator Marshall believes that this money can be used for fences, pillars, and those sorts of security measures for when the children are outside at recess, pick up and drop off, or in between classes.
 
Talks also occurred in regards to using armed personnel at schools for an additional security measure.
 

 
When asked about the bipartisan gun reform laws, Senator Marshal said that this bill will work alongside of what is being negotiated in the senate and that he will not jeopardize the Second Amendment.
 

 
Mental health concerns were brought up by Senator Marshall during the press conference where he stated that two-thirds of mass shootings that took place had some sort of underlying mental health concern. Discussions occurred where school nurses have the sole focus on mental health and conduct mental health checks on the children and that teachers can identify some of the children that are struggling with mental health issues.
 
Senator Marshall mentioned that the bill that was passed in the house regarding gun reforms has no chance of passing the house or receiving the votes.
 

 
Senator Marshall says that he will not infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Kansans and that he is not for raising the age limit to 21 for individuals to purchase fire arms, mainly because the state of California deemed it unconstitutional and that raising the age limit does not solve the problem with firearms in America.
 
80% of mass shootings in the last 50 years in schools were because of stolen guns, and that there’s an epidemic of mental health issues in the country as well as an epidemic in the breakdown of American families because there are almost 20 million American children don’t have a father in their life, and Senator Marshall attributes the shootings that have taken place to these issues.
 
Janet Schnell covers state and local news for KFRM and KCLY. You can follow the KCLY or KFRM Facebook page for more stories.
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