Two U.S. lawmakers are looking to have bulletproof safe rooms installed in schools serving military children, Military.com reported. This comes amid record-high levels of mass shootings in the country.
Sponsored by Reps. Dave Joyce, (R-Ohio), and Annie Kuster, (D-N.H.), the bipartisan amendment for the House's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would create a five-year pilot program where armored rooms and hallway systems would be installed in 10 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools in the continental U.S.
"As schools across the country continue to update and expand school hardening resources, it is vital that our service members' children who attend school on-base have access to the same resources to keep them safe in the event of an emergency," Joyce said in a statement. "If this amendment is included in the final package, it will serve to protect our children, support our service members and keep Americans safe."
Per the proposal, the Pentagon would also have to report to Congress on potential psychological effects of having safe rooms on the school population.
The effort is similar to a pilot program launched at an Alabama elementary school earlier this year, KT Security Solutions’s "Rapid-Deploy Safe Room System" with ballistic protection that can be a white board, storm shelter, or extra meeting space, according to reports. But it remains unclear whether the costly safe rooms like this are actually effective.
Congress continues to fail to agree on significant gun control measures, and calls to equip schools with varying forms of protection have increased.
2023 has seen 23 school shootings that have resulted in injury or death, according to Education Week, but none have been reported at DoDEA schools.
The House Rules Committee is expected to decide next week which of its more than 1,400 filed amendments will get votes.