May 8, 2024 | Press Releases

Nunn Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Improve School Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03) today introduced bipartisan legislation to bolster safety at schools within our communities. The Safe Schools and Communities Act, which is co-led by U.S. Representative Eric Sorensen (IL-17), would provide competitive grants to public schools to prevent human trafficking, improve drug abuse awareness, reduce gang activity, and end violence within our communities. 
“As a dad of six, nothing is more important than keeping our kids safe,” said Rep. Nunn. “Dangerous drugs, human trafficking, and violence are pouring over our Southern Border into our communities, and there’s no doubt that the solution to this crisis starts with securing our border. At the same time, we can also protect our kids and save lives with commonsense solutions that address rising crime in our communities.” 
Gangs are a serious, persistent problem and public concern over violent juvenile behavior has intensified in recent years, especially regarding safety at schools. Gang-involved youth are more likely to engage in substance abuse and experience a wide range of potentially long-term consequences including school dropout, teen parenthood, family problems, and unstable employment. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it’s common for crimes like human trafficking and drug use to relate to gang activity. 
The Safe Schools and Communities Act gives educators the tools they need to keep our kids safe from drugs and violence,” said Rep. Sorensen. “Too many of our neighbors across Central and Northwestern Illinois have an empty seat at their dinner table because they lost a loved one to fentanyl. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with Congressman Nunn to promote fentanyl awareness, prevent drug abuse, and keep our communities safe.” 
More than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021 were attributed to synthetic opioids other than methadone—primarily fentanyl. Fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18-45.  
After drug dealing, human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world, generating $32 billion each year. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 83% of human trafficking victims are U.S. citizens. In Iowa alone, it is estimated that there are 320 trafficking victims at any given time. 
The bipartisan Safe Schools and Communities Act would authorize the U.S. Department of Education to award competitive grants to public schools for the development and implementation of training and curriculum to: 

  • Prevent human trafficking 
  • Promote fentanyl awareness 
  • Reduce gang activity and violence.

Text of the bill can be found here