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Questar III BOCES Receives Department of Justice Grant Funding to Support School Safety Measures

Albany, N.Y. – Questar III BOCES has received $487,541 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice under its Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act (the STOP School Violence Act). The grants awarded by the DOJ will help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools in support of school violence prevention. The Questar III grant was among $126 million awarded across the nation.

The STOP School Violence Act Grant Program is designed to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools needed to recognize, respond quickly to, and help prevent acts of violence.

In 2019 after 17 people were killed during a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) released a report titled “Protecting America’s Schools: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence.” In this report, it was noted that only 17% of schools have any system in place to notify staff or administrators of life-threatening or concerning behaviors before an attack. The report recommended implementing anonymous reporting systems and threat assessment programs to give students, staff, parents, and local communities tools to be able to report concerns to schools.

Questar III will utilize the services of STOPit Solutions to provide an anonymous reporting system with a 24/7 incident management center and hotline reporting center. The company’s products and services are used by more than 6,700 organizations and have assisted with intervening in more than 150,000 incidents.

“We are pleased to receive grant funding from the federal government to support this additional safety measure. The timing of the grant award couldn’t be better given the amount of mental stress our school communities have endured during the pandemic. We continue to stress to our students, staff, and families to say something if they see something that doesn’t seem quite right,” said Craig Hansen, Questar III’s Director of Health and Safety, who will oversee the grant.

Questar III will use the DOJ grant funding to implement an anonymous reporting system in schools in Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene counties.

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