Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Westchester-Rockland), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, recently announced $500,000 from the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) to the County of Westchester for the STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program.
“Violence and hate have no place in our schools, and our students, teachers, and police officers are critical to creating safe, nurturing education institutions,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “This federal funding will give students an active role in the implementation of school safety training and mental health programs, supporting a community-driven approach that reflects the diversity of Westchester’s schools. This funding will help threat assessment teams respond in real world situations and give students facing mental health issues access to school-based resources.”
Depending on the results of NYS Education Department’s recent study on violent and disruptive incidents in schools, Westchester County aims to use this federal grant to work with school resource officers and designated school districts throughout Westchester County to help prevent school violence and address related mental health issues. The grant will be administered with the ongoing support of the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth, the Westchester County Office of Drug Prevention, STOP-DWI, and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety.
“I’d like to thank Congresswoman Nita Lowey for her continued support of this very important issue,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “The safety of our students in classrooms all across Westchester County is paramount, and parents and families need to know that their child’s school is safe and secure. The STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program will improve school security by providing teachers and students with the tools they need to respond quickly to violent attacks and school threats, as well as specialized training to help intervene and respond to students who may have a mental health issue.”
As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey led the House in passing a Fiscal Year 2020 spending package that includes $125 million as authorized by the STOP School Violence Act and $100 million for youth mentoring programs. If enacted, these investments would continue to build upon critical safety and mental health initiatives to stop school violence and address mental health issues as soon as they arise.