(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity
(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Millions spent on school safety not a comfort to parents – The Oakland Press | #schoolsaftey

The state of Michigan has spent over a half billion dollars in the last two years on school safety and mental health resources for students, but most parents still do not feel their children will be safe when they are sent off to school every morning.

Shane Gibson has two daughters in two Oxford elementary schools and even though the district has spent over $2 million dollars since the mass shooting at Oxford High School in November 2021, he still does not feel his children are safe in school.

“In no way, shape or form do I feel my kids are any safer today than they were on the day of the shooting,” said Gibson. “So many people believe it can’t happen in their town and then it does. It is not a matter of ‘if’, it is a matter of ‘when.’ ”

Other parents with children in districts throughout  Oakland County remain concerned about safety and security.

“My daughter is an elementary student and the school does not currently have any cameras, or any alarms if there is a live event. The playgrounds are not completely fenced in,” said Troy parent Michele Maleszyk.  “I would like to see live cameras linked to the Troy Police Department, being watched in real time. I’m fearful for my daughter’s safety on a daily basis, especially at recess. Anyone can run onto the playground and grab a child.”

Oxford parent Shane Gibson said he does not feel his daughters are any safer in school and many parents have enrolled their children in the Oxford Virtual Academy to keep them out of district buildings.Photo by Matthew Fahr

In 2022-23 the state budgeted $168 million for school safety and in 2023-24 $328 million was budgeted to improve mental health and improve school safety.

The school budgets provide aid to the state’s 537 local school districts, 295 public school academies, and 56 intermediate school districts.

Funding is dispersed on a per-pupil basis and was estimated to be $109 per pupil for the 2022-23 school year.

The list of allowable expenses includes

coordination with local law enforcement;
training for school staff on threat assessment and crisis communication, and for school staff and students on threat response;
safety infrastructure;
And other safety services or products for building security.
After the Oxford school shooting, which left four students dead and several others and a teacher wounded, the state Legislature created a bipartisan task force to address student safety and school security.

It released a 12-page report in December 2022 after gathering input from concerned parents and residents from over 45 different cities across Michigan. The most frequent suggestion received from parents was to increase security in schools.

Their recommendations included having lockdown kits that include supplies for extended lockdowns; window ladders for rooms on upper levels; all doors should have the ability to lock; cameras in classrooms; reduce barriers for hiring new school counselors and look to attract more people into the mental health field or add it to the scope of practice for medical professionals such as physicians assistants.

In all, the task force recommendations added up to $486 million for programs split between mental health and school security. It is not known whether any of the recommendations have been implemented.

Through May 2, 2023, there were 18 bills proposed in the Legislature  aimed at helping districts with safety, including things like gun safety guardian programs.

The Michigan State Police Office of School Safety declined an offer to comment for this story.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks with Novi parents and teachers about school safety during a Back to School tour in 2022. The state has committed over a half billion dollars to schools safety and mental health assistance in the last two years, but parents remain worried about their kids’ safety in school.Photo by Matthew Fahr

But no amount of money or legislation seems to change the minds of parents.

“As safety relates to bullying, I don’t feel my son will be safe once he moves to the .. middle school,” said West Bloomfield mother Kirsten Douglass. “There is a known problem with bullying and fighting and for that reason we are considering other options for middle school.”

Gibson and other parents are also frustrated with vague emails sent from districts announcing threats or incidents in their schools, but no explanations on what occurred or what was done to resolve the problem.

“I come home almost every day and I am reading something from the district in my emails about something that happened in one of my daughters’ schools, but claim that privacy laws prevent them from telling me anything else,” said Gibson. “We have already had six or seven this year alone from each of their schools and it is still September.”

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security