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School Safety Task Force progress report shows potential consensus on recommendations

dozens of school desks in a room
Wokandapix
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Funding school safety coordinator positions, standardizing active shooter drills and updating building codes to account for threats are all topics of bills the Michigan House of Representatives has in the works.

The planned legislation is the result of the bi-partisan School Safety Task Force which formed after a deadly school shooting at Oxford High School last November.

The group recently released a progress report.

State Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) said he wouldn't be surprised if the bills were introduced in stages, instead of one-by-one.

“I think things get lost then sometimes if the effort is kind of spread out too far, whereas if you can have a whole series of bills working on school safety, school mental health, they’re going to get more of the attention and attraction,” Meerman said.

Many of the bills being drafted come from recommendations of another school safety group from 2018 that haven’t been implemented.

Meerman said he hopes to see movement on at least some of the task force’s suggestions by this summer.

“You’d be surprised how much time there is between concept and agreement," he said. "And how much time it takes to actually write that idea into law."

The letter outlines several potential recommendations focused on health support and threat reduction, but none involve firearm safety.

“It’s definitely something we, the taskforce, have had conversations about. And long conversations, and sometimes hard conversations, but we’ll be recommending things all eight members can get behind,” Meerman said, though he acknowledged that he didn’t want to speak for the other task force members.

Outside of the task force, Democrats in the state Legislature have been pushing for gun safety legislation. They’ve introduced safe storage and red flag bills.

Those have stalled.

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