Alcee Hastings Unveils Bill to Help Surviving Families of Teachers Killed in School Shootings, Campus Violence

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., introduced a bill to help survivors of teachers and school employees killed in school shootings and other violent acts on campus.

Hastings brought out the “Teacher Victims’ Family Assistance Act” with the support of six Democrats as co-sponsors including U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla.

The congressman’s office offered some of the details of the bill.

“The Teacher Victims’ Family Assistance Act of 2021 creates a compensation fund under the U.S. Department of Education that provides assistance to the immediate families of teachers and other school staff who are killed in a violent act during the performance of their duties. The compensation provides families with: (1) funeral assistance of up to $1,500; (2) a death benefit payment of $325,000 to the next of kin; (3) a monthly living allowance of $900 for the surviving spouse and for each dependent child; and (4) five years of undergraduate education assistance for each dependent child,” Hastings’ office noted.

“Before schools closed as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, the year 2020 was on track to more than double the number of school shootings that took place in all of 2019,” said Hastings. “As schools begin to reopen, teachers and students once again face the harrowing reality of gun violence in our schools. While we must undoubtedly continue to tirelessly advocate for common-sense gun laws, we must also ensure that those who lose family members to such senseless acts of violence are cared for through financial assistance that will help cover financial expenses and assist with the care of surviving family members. I am proud to introduce this legislation that would provide relief for families that relied upon those deceased teachers for financial support.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means and the Education and Labor Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.


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