Lansing school safety task force releases report

Overall goal is to make schools safer

In their first update, lawmakers on the state's newly formed school safety task force already have recommendations on making schools safer. In a letter sent to State Speaker of the House, Jason Wentworth, members included in their list funding for school-based health centers to treat mental health. Third-party inspections of school safety and shortening the time it takes to remove a threat from the classroom; Something that's been front and center in the case against the accused shooter at Oxford High School.

DETROIT – Shortly after the tragedy in Oxford, Lansing created a bi-partisan task force to develop ways to make schools safer.

And that group has just released its first findings.

We talked to one of those members Friday (March 25) after getting their weekly meeting wrapped up, and Local 4 News is gaining new insight into both what the schools need to do and what they haven’t done but should’ve done to keep kids safe.

In their first update, lawmakers on the state’s newly formed school safety task force already have recommendations on making schools safer.

In a letter sent to State Speaker of the House, Jason Wentworth, members included in their list funding for school-based health centers to treat mental health. Third-party inspections of school safety and shortening the time it takes to remove a threat from the classroom; Something that’s been front and center in the case against the accused shooter at Oxford High School.

“We have to find a way to balance this,” said State Representative Kelly Breen. “That is one of the biggest points of contention, but for the most part, everything else we’re all agreeing on. This package of bills that’s coming out that we hope to have soon, it is going to ask for a lot of money for some of these things.”

One of the most startling parts in the letter came when the task force looked at what the task force from 2018 recommended.

Finding most of those recommendations from four years ago still hadn’t been put in place even though they would have made students and staff safer.

“In the 2018 report, there were many, many things that were done,” Breen said. “There are many things that are ongoing projects. What we are looking at are the legislative fixes that are required. For example, the school safety position just require some legislative tweaks, and they need to be funded.”

Representative Breen said the discussions in those meetings, including members from both parties, have been frank, and they’ve kept everything on the table, including guns and mental health care.

She says their mission is to have these difficult discussions because the overall goal is to make schools safer.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.