Sen. Stamas supports school safety initiatives

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature has finalized comprehensive legislation designed to help keep students safe.

“We owe it to every Michigan child to help provide them with a safe and secure environment to learn and succeed,” said Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland. “These school safety measures will ensure that our schools and communities have the necessary resources, effective technology and proper training to best protect our students and teachers.”

Senate Bill 982 would create the Office of School Safety within the state police to update school safety practices, offer staff training and oversee use of school safety grants. SB 983 would require schools to conduct a safety assessment with local law enforcement by the 2019-20 school year — and at least every two years thereafter.

House Bill 5828 would create the School Safety Commission within the state police and require the commission to establish school safety metrics and review them regularly. HB 5829 would require schools to designate a school safety liaison to work with the commission.

“All Michigan schools need to have the necessary security in place to protect our students and teachers,” Stamas said. “Security improvements, training and preparation are all critical to protecting our schools. These reforms will ensure our schools have updated safety plans and that both school staff and law enforcement know what to do in an emergency.”

Additional measures in the finalized school safety plan include:
• Requiring schools to report attempted acts of violence on school grounds;
• Developing statewide training standards for active-violence situations in schools;
• Ensuring schools work with local law enforcement on new construction or upgrades to school buildings;
• Permanently extending the OK2SAY program;
• Requiring schools to report — at least twice a year — their 24/7/365 emergency contact, who would receive information submitted through the school safety hotline; and
• Allowing school boards to discuss safety plans in closed-door meetings.

SBs 882, 982-983 and 990-991 and HBs 5828-5829 and 5850-5852 now head to the governor to be signed.