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  • James Townsend

Release from Rep. Julie Calley: Michigan House school safety plan emphasizes ‘teamwork and unity’

A plan approved by the Michigan House this week would establish a system to help all schools in the state become safer and more secure, state Rep. Julie Calley said.

Calley, of Portland, supported the legislation establishing a statewide commission to help review and audit security procedures in school buildings. Grants to improve security would be distributed with priority going to schools with the greatest need. Schools would have local liaisons to work with the statewide commission.

The commission is the cornerstone of the multi-faceted plan that received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and is now headed to the Senate for further consideration.

“This plan stresses teamwork and unity,” Calley said. “Everyone must do their part to make our schools safer for students, teachers and all who visit. This legislation is a significant step in the right direction, providing a structure and support to improve school security, while upholding local control for school districts.”

Other details of the plan include:

--Requiring schools to submit incident reports to the statewide commission. The reports would provide the commission with examples of how incidents and threats were handled to develop best practices for other Michigan schools to follow.

--Requiring new school construction or major renovation projects include safety features such as reinforced entryways and remote door locks.

--Making the OK2SAY program permanent by eliminating an expiration date currently in state law. The program allows the confidential reporting of tips on potentially harmful or criminal activity directed at students, school employees or school buildings.

--Mandating consistent, standardized training related to school violence incidents in the requirements to be a licensed law enforcement officer in Michigan.

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