On October 21, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it awarded more than $85.3 million to bolster school security—including $250,000 to increase mental health training in Caddo Parish Public Schools.
The grant, approved as one of only two for districts in the state of Louisiana, will allow for all middle and high schools in Caddo to receive training on suicide prevention as well as bullying prevention. Additionally, the grant will fund training to support addressing mental health needs of students over the next two years.
The funds were provided as part of the STOP School Violence Act which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump in March 2018. The funds all agencies across the nation to provide additional resources and supports to prevent threats to schools while also improving responses.
“These federal resources will help to prevent school violence and give our students the support they need to learn, grow, and thrive,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By training faculty, students and first responders, and by improving school security measures, we can make schools and their communities safer.”
Winn Parish School Board received $150,000 under Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) STOP School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment Solutions for Safer Schools Program. Under BJA’s STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program, Caddo Parish School Board received $250,000. The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement received an additional $500,000.
“There is no more important cause than protecting our children from harm,” stated Western District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “These grants will give Winn Parish School Board and Caddo Parish School Board the tools to develop better safety measures to help prevent violence in their schools. I want to thank the Department of Justice for making these grants available to provide Louisiana schools with the resources to better identify threats, train crisis teams, and put reporting systems in place. School should always be a safe place for children to learn.”
The grant programs are managed by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.