Grassley wants to extend Secret Service’s threat assessment program to schools

WASHINGTON — Following the deadly shootings at Perry High School, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley is renewing an appeal to his colleagues to pass a bill which he says would help to make schools nationwide safer.

Grassley says his “heart goes out” to everyone who’s been impacted by last week’s gun violence.

“I’m joining Iowans across the state grieving such devastating loss of life,” Grassley says. “I also wish principal Dan Marburger a full recovery. He heroically put his life on the line to protect staff and students.”

The Republican says he introduced legislation following the Valentine’s Day shootings in 2018 at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead, another 17 injured.

“The EAGLES Act would expand the Secret Service’s threat assessment program to schools,” Grassley says. “For decades, this framework has enabled the Secret Service to recognize signs that individuals may be at risk of harming themselves and others.” The bill is named after the Parkland school mascot.

Grassley says accurate behavioral threat assessments and early interventions are key to maintaining a safe environment in schools. He adds, the Secret Service is uniquely equipped to help evaluate such threats, and the bill would enable them to share their tools and expertise with schools across the country.

“Schools threat assessment training could help address the mental health issues impacting people nationwide,” Grassley says. “It would improve preparedness and strengthen intervention capabilities. Intervention is so important.”

The shootings last Thursday at Perry High left an 11-year-old dead and seven other people wounded. Authorities say the 17-year-old gunman took his own life.