The Michigan House today approved a broad plan to improve school security, including a measure from state Rep. Pamela Hornberger tied to the creation of a statewide school safety commission.
The plan approved with bipartisan support would create the commission to review security procedures, and provide resources for security improvements in school buildings with the greatest need.
Hornberger’s measure calls for every governing body of a local district, intermediate school district, public school academy or private school to designate a liaison to work directly with the commission. Her provision ensures local communities have a voice and engage in the process of helping to make schools safer.
“There’s nothing more fundamentally important to protecting our kids than securing our school buildings,” said Hornberger, of Macomb County’s Chesterfield Township. “This plan lays out some simple, common-sense strategies to take an important step in the right direction.”
Other pieces of the plan include:
- Requiring schools to submit incident reports to the statewide school safety commission. The reports would provide the commission with examples of how incidents and threats were handled to develop best practices for other Michigan schools to follow.
- Requiring new school construction or major renovation projects to include safety features such as reinforced entryways and remote door locks.
- Removing the elimination date for the OK2SAY program, which allows the confidential reporting of tips on potentially harmful or criminal activity directed at students, school employees or school buildings. The House plan makes the program permanent.
- Mandating consistent, standardized training related to school violence incidents as part of the requirements to be a licensed law enforcement officer in Michigan.
House Bills 5828-30 and 5850-52 advance to the Senate for further consideration.