I am writing to you as a Member of Stand with Parkland – The National Association of Families for Safe Schools. It’s been over 5 years since the devastating events in Parkland, Florida, and over 20 years have gone by since the violent tragedy that unfolded at Columbine – yet our country has scarcely made progress in addressing the root causes of violence in our schools. Inadequate mental health programs, easy access to weapons and lack of campus security all contribute to this American epidemic.

The National Threat Assessment Center has been essential to thwarting mass shooters and targeted violence since it was first created in 1998. The EAGLES Act (S. 411 and H.R. 1005) is a critical expansion of the program that prioritizes research into the origins of targeted violence and directs key funding to prevent the next mass school shooting. We need to be more proactive and less reactive — our children’s lives are at stake. This bipartisan effort underscores the importance of school safety and ensures nationwide research and training to stop the next attack before it happens.

Signing this legislation into law would be a win for both sides of the aisle – and failure to act is a great loss for all Americans.

Republicans and Democrats are both affected by this problem. School shootings are an American tragedy. We are calling on policymakers at all levels of government and in both political parties to develop policies and enact laws that address all of the many facets that lead to violence in America’s schools.