House passes school safety bill, first action since Florida shooting

Students hold up their signs during a rally asking for gun control outside of the U.S. Capitol building, in Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Washington. One month after a mass shooting in Florida, students and advocates across the country participate in walkouts and protests to call on Congress for action. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The House has approved a bill to improve school safety in the wake of the shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school. The bill authorizes $500 million over 10 years for grants to improve training and coordination between schools and local law enforcement and help identify signs of potential violence before they occur.

The House approved the bill, 407-10.

The vote marks the first gun-related action by Congress since the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the bill “provides a multilayered approach” to identify threats so authorities can intervene before violence occurs.

Florida Rep. John Rutherford, a former Jacksonville sheriff, sponsored the bill, which now goes to the Senate.

The White House says President Donald Trump strongly supports the school safety bill.

Fifteen-year-old Chloe Appel of Gaithersburg, Maryland, held a sign that said, “Fix this before I text my mom from under a desk.” She’s hopeful that Congress will enact gun control laws. She said that, “After today and after the next protest Congress will see how many people feel strongly about this so they will have to make a change.”