Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Greene calls for action on bipartisan school safety legislation
RELEASE|February 13, 2024
Contact: Jaime Greene

One year after plan was introduced, bills have seen no movement

State Rep. Jaime Greene, Republican vice chair of the House Education Committee, today urged Democrat leaders in the House to finally hold a hearing on the comprehensive bipartisan school safety plan that was introduced a year ago.

The legislation – which carries out the recommendations of a legislative task force formed in the wake of the Oxford school tragedy – was introduced on Feb. 14, 2023, and has yet to receive a hearing or a vote.

“School safety is a priority for every single parent who has a child in our schools,” said Greene, R-Richmond. “Why isn’t the House Education Committee making this a priority?

“These bills prioritize the well-being of our children, ensuring they can learn and grow in environments free from harm. Every effort must be made to protect our schools as places of learning, not fear.”

Following the Oxford school shooting, the bipartisan task force met with teachers, administrators, parents, law enforcement, mental health professionals, and other experts to identify policy solutions that could help prevent future acts of violence against students and teachers. The task force released its report in December 2022.

The plan, laid out in House Bills 4088-4100, is designed to organize a unified approach to school safety and student mental health with communication, training, personnel, and more.

House Bill 4091, introduced by Greene, updates and reviews building codes to ensure new buildings include features such as safer corners and bullet-resistant glass to address modern security issues. The bill also establishes safety guidelines to assist schools with procedures for a school building lockdown.

Other bills in the plan would:

  • Establish the School Safety and Mental Health Commission. This commission would identify best practices for schools to address behavioral, physical, and mental health needs. The commission would support at-risk students and work to reduce youth suicides by establishing a comprehensive statewide approach.
  • Dedicate school staff to student safety and mental health. Each intermediate school district will receive funding to hire one safety and security coordinator and one mental health coordinator. These new staff would serve as points of contact for school safety plans, grant opportunities, and mental health and security strategies. They would maintain communication between the state and school districts within the ISD, while also facilitating communication between other school districts in their region.
  • Plan for safety. Schools would be required to review and update their safety plans every three years in consultation with their ISD-level safety coordinator, and statewide standards would guide the implementation of modern security measures for school buildings.
  • Expand and improve OK2SAY. Contact information for the OK2Say confidential tip line would be placed on school ID cards for easy student access. Reporting and tips received by OK2Say would be passed on to the ISD coordinators and local law enforcement; reporting and tips would also be provided quarterly to the School Safety and Mental Health Commission. Higher standards and new reporting definitions for OK2SAY would also be adopted.
  • Improve responses to school safety crises. The plan would require the Michigan State Police to provide uniform, comprehensive school safety and security training for school resource officers and all staff at Michigan schools. It would also create uniform definitions statewide for school safety terms, such as lockdowns, to foster better communication during crisis events. Other provisions would add more active-shooter drills and ensure at least one drill includes local law enforcement involvement and one is conducted between classes.

Greene noted that although the legislation specifically addresses K-12 schools, the Legislature should explore additional ways to protect colleges and other locations.

“On the one-year anniversary of the MSU shooting, we had every opportunity to hold a hearing and discuss the school safety plan today,” Greene said. “Why didn’t we? Not taking up these bills is a disservice to the people we represent.”


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