Pearl River County School District awarded federal grant for violence prevention
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019
The Pearl River County School District received a $143,285 federal grant for violence prevention and mental health training on Monday.
According to a Department of Justice press release, $85.5 million in grants were distributed nationally to address school violence. Three Mississippi school districts, Pearl River County, Long Beach and Petal, received some of that grant money. Together, the three districts were awarded over $544,000, the release states. Long Beach School District received $374,834 and Petal School District received $26,550 under the COPS School Violence Prevention Program, the release states, which provides training to law enforcement officers and funding for violence deterrent measures like metal detectors in schools, according to the release.
Pearl River County School District received the funds under the Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program. The program provides training focused on preventing and responding to mental health crises that might precipitate violent attacks on school grounds, the release states. The training programs can be given to students and school personnel, which can include volunteers, counselors, coaches and resource officers, the release states. The training will address issues like bullying, addiction and interpersonal violence, according to a fact sheet from the Department of Justice.
Of the $85.5 million awarded nationwide, $17.3 million was awarded for the BJA STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program in 43 state and local governments, Indian tribes and public agencies, the fact sheet states. The Pearl River County School District fell into the category of “rural area” or “small county” with a population fewer than 100,000. The other six school districts in that category received $150,000, the fact sheet states.
The grant awards were authorized by the 2018 Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act.
Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin could not be reached for comment by press time.