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Rep. Greene, Education Committee members seek hearing on school safety plan | #schoolsaftey


Rep. Greene, Education Committee members seek hearing on school safety plan

Democrats continue to stand in the way of needed legislation

State Rep. Jaime Greene today expressed deep disappointment that partisan gamesmanship is preventing action on a broadly supported plan to improve school safety and increase mental health support for Michigan students.

Greene, Republican Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, this week sent a letter seeking support from Democrats on the committee to call a hearing on legislation to implement the recommendations of the bipartisan school safety task force established by the House after the shooting at Oxford High School. Greene said the committee has had plenty of time to take up the bills, but the Democrat chair has had different priorities, instead pushing controversial policies that take away parental choice and repealing accountability measures in schools.

“The people we represent want us to do something to improve the safety of Michigan schools,” said Greene, R-Richmond. “We have a well-thought-out, bipartisan plan with broad support and the chair of our committee will not hold a hearing to get the ball rolling. It’s disheartening that one committee chair can be the sole roadblock for such important changes that the people of Michigan want to see put into law.”

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 the chair has yet to schedule a hearing.

If a majority of members on a committee feel as though a vital topic should be taken up, they may call a meeting and set an agenda without needing approval from the chair.

Greene’s letter called upon the Democrat members of the committee to sign a notice to Clerk Brown calling for a meeting of the Education committee on Tuesday, March 5, at 8 a.m. to take up House Bills 4088-4100. Two Democrats needed to join the five Republican members to authorize a committee meeting without approval from the chair.

“We are beyond disappointed and frustrated that these bills have not yet received a public hearing, so we are taking it upon ourselves as members of the Education committee to finally give this legislation the hearing it deserves,” the letter reads.

Committee members were given until 5 p.m. Wednesday to sign on to the request. None of the Democrats on the committee agreed.

“I had hope that the Democrats on the Education Committee would put student safety above party politics,” Greene said. “It’s disappointing that people elected to represent their communities won’t stand up for what they know is right.”

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