Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the EAGLES Act, legislation named after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s mascot in Parkland, Florida, that would expand the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) with a greater focus on school violence prevention.
“No child should feel unsafe in the classroom, and it is imperative that we take action to ensure that schools are a safe learning environment for students, teachers, and staff,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation would improve research and training to prevent targeted violence, including threats to schools. This is one of many commonsense steps we can take to protect school communities so that students can focus on their studies.”
The NTAC was created in 1998 to develop evidence-based indicators for various types of targeted violence, including school violence. NTAC’s findings can then be used to develop best practices and training to prevent future acts of violence. Since 2002, the Secret Service has conducted hundreds of training operations for more than 198,000 school administrators, teachers, counselors, mental health professionals, school resource officers and other public safety partners. The EAGLES Act reauthorizes and expands NTAC, allowing it to scale up its threat assessment operations, with a particular focus on school safety.
The legislation establishes a national program on targeted school violence prevention and provides additional resources to expand research and training on a national scale. Through the bill’s school safety initiative, the NTAC will coordinate trainings and plans with the Department of Justice and Department of Education. The bill also requires the Secret Service to provide periodic progress reports to Congress.
In addition to Senator Collins, the EAGLES Act is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). A bipartisan, bicameral counterpart was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.