Thanks to the omnibus spending bill Trump signed on Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has canceled a set of efforts meant to tackle the issue of school safety. Since the bill slashed $1.3 billion from the department’s budget, there is no longer enough money to finance these projects, according to a statement put out by the DOJ.
The news falls on the exact day that hundreds of marches across the U.S. and around the world, with crowds numbering in the millions, are taking place.
“The National Institute of Justice has canceled both the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative and Research and Evaluation of Technologies to Improve School Safety solicitations,” reads a notice on the institute’s page. “With the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, the funding planned for these solicitations is no longer available for research and evaluation. Instead, it will be used for other purposes under the Stop School Violence Act of 2018.”
Several survivors of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida in February have slammed the Stop School Violence Act, which was also signed into law on Friday, as a “pathetic” and weak response to gun violence. Rather than making gun laws stricter, the law will only provide training for students, teachers, and school security in order to more effectively recognize warning signs for possible shootings.
“The Stop School Violence Act which they just passed, that doesn’t say the word ‘gun’ once,” said Parkland student Cameron Kasky during an interview on NBC’s Today Show. “At the end of the day, what’s the one weapon that all these tragedies have in common?”
“We haven’t seen the change yet that we need. The STOP School Violence Act which they just passed, that doesn’t say the word ‘gun’ once. At the end of the day, what’s the one weapon that all these tragedies have in common?” -Parkland student @cameron_kasky pic.twitter.com/m62wmR3wD6
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 19, 2018
Soon after the shooting in Florida, Trump briefly entertained the idea of embracing some sort of gun control measures, but he quickly backed down after a having meeting with top NRA officials at the Oval Office.
With over an estimated one million people showing up in Washington D.C. to make it clear that they won’t tolerate legislators who don’t take action to reduce gun violence, Trump and other Republicans should be afraid of keeping things the way they are.