Report details steps districts can take to improve safety in schools

Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 17:31:20-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Lockdown kits and independent threat assessments are just two of the proposed steps a school safety committee is pushing for to make our schools safer, and it’s already got the attention of parents in Oxford.

As a parent of an Oxford Community Schools student, Jennifer Prayther is keeping close watch over recommended actions for schools to improve safety. In the wake of the deadly Oxford High School shooting tragedy, she believes politics must be put aside to protect students and staff.

“Third parties are good for threat assessments for the entire state, not just something different for up and down state,” Prayther said.

A preliminary document obtained by 7 Action New highlights numerous initiatives under review by a bipartisan state House committee that’s consulted with law enforcement and the community.

School Safety Progress Report 3-24-22 by WXYZ-TV Detroit on Scribd

Proposed steps include more funding for health centers, camera upgrades, updating active shooter drills, school floor plan maps and better statewide information sharing. It also includes OK2SAY information on students ID cards.

“Some really innovative things that are happening with mapping to ensure that when law enforcement is alerted, their response is efficient,” Rep. Ranjeev Puri.

Bills already drafted include measures for ongoing training for staff members and resource officers as well as the creation of more mental health services. They’re steps lawmakers say they’re pursuing with more urgency than ever.

“We’ve taken every idea and put them in one of these buckets. We are working our way through them,” Rep. Kelly Breen said. “I see (these proposals) getting through in the next budget.”

For Prayther, there’s a sense of frustration with prior proposed changes dating back years that were never implemented. She hopes now is the time when all stakeholders can come together and also address the issue of safe gun storage.

“Secure storage measures handed out to parents,” Prayther said.

Meetings twice a week have been held by the committee for months. They’ll continue to do so as they work toward a final report.