Rep. Bollin calls for action on bipartisan school safety legislation | #schoolsaftey

Rep. Bollin calls for action on bipartisan school safety legislation

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

State Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton Township, today called upon the Speaker of the House to advance the comprehensive bipartisan school safety plan that was introduced a year ago.

The legislation resulted from a bipartisan task force the House of Representatives created after the Oxford school shooting in 2021. The task force issued its recommendations in December 2022 after thoroughly reviewing expert input from law enforcement officers, educators, mental health professionals, and parents. The bills were introduced in the House on Feb. 14, 2023, which happened to be the day after the shooting at Michigan State University.

“A solid plan to improve school safety and mental health for Michigan students was introduced a year ago, and it has yet to receive a hearing – that’s deeply concerning,” Bollin said. “Ensuring the safety of our school children should be an unquestionable priority. Parents shouldn’t have to bear the weight of worry every time they send their kids to school. It’s time to prioritize our children’s safety and well-being above all else.”

House Bills 4088-4100 accomplish the recommendations of the task force, presenting a comprehensive approach to school safety with communication, training, personnel, and more.

The plan would:

  • Dedicate school staff to student safety. Each intermediate school district will receive funding to hire one safety and security coordinator. These new staff would serve as points of contact for school safety plans, grant opportunities, 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.

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

“All students, regardless of their level or school, deserve to have a safe learning environment,” Bollin said. “As legislators, it is our duty to ensure that when we allocate funds for school safety initiatives, there are robust accountability measures in place, ensuring that every dollar spent directly translates into timely and tangible improvements that protect the well-being of our children.”


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