Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Alexander calls on House Education Committee to hold hearing on school safety
RELEASE|March 7, 2024

Legislation keeps kids safe at school, commits resources to mental health

State Rep. Greg Alexander today took issue with continued delays and partisan gamesmanship preventing action on a broadly supported plan to improve school safety and increase mental health support for Michigan students.

Alexander is pushing for the House Education Committee to call a hearing on legislation that implements the recommendations of the bipartisan school safety task force established by the House after the shooting at Oxford High School. While the committee has had plenty of time to take up the bills, the Democrat-majority panel has opted to focus on other measures.

“It is astonishing to me that legislation coming on the heels of a tragedy like what we saw at Oxford High School would not be prioritized in bipartisan fashion in the Legislature,” said Alexander, of Carsonville. “These bills work to deter violence, give our kids more mental health support in schools, and provide more peace of mind for families. Something this impactful should be a priority given the current split in the House. Instead, House session days are being cancelled and the safety of our kids is being put on the back burner.”

House Bills 4088-4100 would establish dedicated staff for school safety and mental health at every school district, implement regular reviews of each school’s safety plan, ensure tips submitted through the OK2SAY system are directed to the proper authorities, standardize training and communication for responding to school emergencies, and more.

The package was referred to the House Education Committee on Feb. 14, 2023 – more than a year ago – and has yet to receive a hearing.

In addition to the stalled plan, a House Resolution that designated February as School Resource Officer Appreciation Month was referred to a House committee last week instead of being adopted on the floor. Alexander advocated last year for continued, dedicated funding for resource officers within the state budget process, but the dedicated funding was removed by Democrats. They also attempted to defund the School Safety and Mental Health Commission that Republicans created in 2022 to coordinate safety efforts statewide, and the governor has again proposed defunding the commission in her budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

“School resource officers have been tremendous assets for communities and school districts,” Alexander said. “They are professionals who keep students and school staff safe, and they are in position to react quickly and effectively if incidents occur. Not every district in our state that wants to have a resource officer in the hallways of their schools has the means to do so, and this dedicated funding helped those communities out.

“School safety is an issue that isn’t going away. Kids want to feel safe at school while they learn and grow. Parents want to make sure their children are safe when they drop them off for the day, and our teachers and support staff want to know they’re safe at work. I am hopeful the Legislature steps up for kids and families in the weeks ahead and prioritizes these practical reforms.”

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