first_img20Dec Rep. Wentworth’s school safety plan one step away from becoming Michigan law Categories: News,Wentworth News The Michigan House today gave final legislative approval to a comprehensive plan improving safety in schools, including a measure from Rep. Jason Wentworth establishing a statewide commission to review and help upgrade building security.The bipartisan plan also enhances law enforcement training, establishes reporting procedures for incidents in schools, and makes the OK2SAY school safety program permanent – among several other security improvements.“One day at a time, one building at a time – as a team we must continually work to make our schools safer in every Michigan community,” said Wentworth, of Clare. “This plan provides a framework to do just that. We owe this to our kids. We owe this to our teachers. We owe this to everyone who works or attends events at our schools.”Wentworth’s legislation creates a commission evolving from a gubernatorial task force charged with making school safety recommendations. Working with a new Office of School Safety, the commission will help develop a system to audit and improve safety procedures in Michigan schools. The Office of School Safety – which will be part of the Michigan State Police – will distribute grants to help schools make security improvements.Wentworth worked with local schools, law enforcement, and legislators from both major political parties to craft his plan.Other pieces of the overall plan include:Establishing a liaison within each school district to report to and work with the state – a necessary step to make sure improved safety practices reach every corner of Michigan and that local perspectives are included in the process. Emergency operations plans will be adopted for each school building.Mandating consistent, standardized training related to school violence incidents as part of the requirements to be a licensed law enforcement officer in Michigan.Requiring schools to submit incident reports to Michigan State Police. The reports will provide state school safety officials with examples of how incidents were handled to develop best practices for other Michigan schools to follow.Requiring schools to consult with local law enforcement officials prior to major renovations or new construction projects, with the goal of including building safety features.Removing the sunset date for the OK2SAY program, which allows the confidential reporting of tips on potentially harmful or criminal activity directed at students, school employees or school buildings. OK2SAY has handled more than 16,000 tips since its debut in 2014. The program is expanding and adding resources.The legislation, part of a package that includes both House and Senate bills, is advancing to the governor for consideration.###The school safety package includes House Bills 5828-29 and 5850-52, along with Senate Bills 882, 982-83 and 990-91.last_img

Leave a Comment