Gov. Snyder calls for upgrading security at schools

Posted at 11:53 AM, Apr 16, 2018

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan would spend $20 million to upgrade security at up to 400 schools, expand a tip line that lets students report threats and require schools to incorporate behavioral health assessments into their procedures under a plan Gov. Rick Snyder proposed on Monday.

The proposal was developed in the wake of the shooting massacre at a Florida high school in February and at a time the state has received record-high tips to OK2Say, Michigan’s confidential tip line for students.

“This is a terrible national crisis. We’ve done good things, but I think we can do more,” Snyder told The Associated Press in an interview before releasing the plan, which does not include gun-related measures.

Snyder called for $20 million in grants to help schools with basic access restrictions, door upgrades and radio communication needs, including $2 million in immediate funding for schools without functioning, locking doors. An additional $1.3 million would be spent to triple spending on OK2Say, both to increase students’ awareness of the tip line and to hire more state analysts to receive and process tips that are forwarded to schools officials and law enforcement.

The governor proposed a $2 million pilot grant program to train teams of school administrators, resource officers and others to help identify students who pose a threat to themselves and others. He also called for standardized training for school resource officers and requiring schools to have safety plans that are broader than emergency response.

He said it is unclear, for instance, how many resource officers are embedded in schools. He will create a school safety task force to develop more recommendations and wants the state to establish a permanent commission to review and help update Michigan’s school-safety plan annually.