Pascrell Announces $250K School Safety Grant to Paterson
Sizable award will strengthen school security measures
Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is awarding $250,000 in school safety grants to the Paterson public school system. Made available through the DOJ’s STOP School Violence Program, this federal award will help Paterson obtain new technology and establish programs that will allow officials to better assess potential threats and streamline the process for anonymously reporting suspicious activity.
“We fought vigorously to secure this funding for our students and I am thrilled we succeeded because it will literally save lives,” said Rep. Pascrell, a former history teacher and longtime champion of school safety measures. “The classroom should be about history and mathematics, not fearing for your safety or practicing active shooter drills. While the ghoulish NRA and their Republican allies continue their campaign to foster violence in our schools, I will keep fighting to protect our children and neighbors through lifesaving awards like this.”
“Safety in our schools is paramount and this funding will help us better protect or students and faculty,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “I would like to thank Congressman Pascrell for securing funding that will enhance the safety in the Paterson Public Schools.”
“The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. We are grateful to Congressman Pascrell – a former teacher and a fierce advocate for Paterson’s youth and public safety – for his help in obtaining this federal funding,” said Paterson Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer. “Our teachers, students, administrators, parents, and board members have made significant progress in creating safer environments and more success-oriented climates in our schools. This funding will help the district face its daily challenges and keep them from affecting students and staff inside the schools. We look forward to the work of this grant, which is assessing our school climates and developing strategies to enhance learning environments altogether.”
Rep. Pascrell has long championed school safety measures in Congress and is a strong proponent of comprehensive state and federal gun control. Shortly after the Stoneman High School tragedy, Pascrell and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) offered legislation to reinstate the Obama-era mental health background check for gun purchases that was rolled back by congressional Republicans and repealed by Donald Trump shortly after he entered office. Also in February 2018, Pascrell and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-07) reintroduced the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act, which aims to combat gun violence through increased federal taxes on guns and ammunition and by closing tax and regulatory loopholes on some of the most popular and deadly firearms. He also helped secure $2.2 million in school safety grants for schools all throughout northern New Jersey last October.