United States Capitol

Federal Bill Would Require School Districts to Monitor Social Media

A newly introduced federal bill seeks to heighten security at American schools by encouraging districts to adopt social media monitoring programs.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bill aimed at reducing mass violence and making communities safer by having school districts monitor social media among other things.

The Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening and Promoting Our Nation's Safety Efforts (RESPONSE) Act, was spurred by the recent tragedies in Texas.

“Two months ago, Texans were mourning the loss of 22 of our people killed in a senseless attack in El Paso, Texas,” Cornyn said in a press release. “Little did we know that we were just days away from another violent attack, this time in Midland and Odessa that took seven lives.”

“As I visited with the families and offered my condolences following each of these attacks, there was one common refrain, one common request: please do something.”

The RESPONSE Act would require all federally-funded schools to install programs that detect "online activities of minors who are at risk of committing self-harm or extreme violence against others,” reported Government Technology.

The press release also stated, “The RESPONSE Act includes provisions to help identify students whose behavior indicates a threat of violence and then provide the student with the appropriate services they may need to not be a danger to themselves or others.”

“By promoting best practices within our schools, as well as internet safety policies, we can help protect both students and school faculty and provide parents with a little peace of mind.”

“And finally, because so often these shooters advertise on social media, or cry out for attention to law enforcement or other people ahead of time, this legislation includes provisions to ensure law enforcement can receive timely information about potential threats made online.”

“The RESPONSE Act would expand the scope of information they can share to include information about potential acts of mass violence, or self-harm, or hate crimes, or acts of domestic terrorism.”

About the Author

Sherelle Black is a Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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