EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The East Lansing school district is now in the middle of cementing new safety recommendations.

This comes after school administrators received input from students, staff and parents on what they would like to see change.

District leaders said they have been working with safety consultants since the fall to evaluate buildings and current policies.

On Monday, they shared what a district-wide survey showed about recommendations that are still under review, including the return of school resource officers.

“By kind of taking it step by step and having a lot of people willing to engage in it, we’ve had a lot of staff willing to engage and help. We’ve had a lot of students engage and willing to give input,” said Dory Leyko, East Lansing Public Schools Superintendent.

District leaders said they have been carefully reviewing and have started to implement some of the 24 safety recommendations for the high school presented by consultants since the end of January, like adding more staff in the hallways and athletic events to patrol.

Earlier this month, more than 700 students, parents and staff shared thoughts on proposed changes in a survey. Results showed policies like banning cell phones and backpacks in class saw little support, along with a clear backpack policy.

While the administrators said they are still reviewing the listed recommendations but said the high school campus is seeing new upgrades in additional cameras, and alarms and are working to hire three security staff members

Reviewed policies like IDs for students and staff and adding metal detectors had a majority of support, including having a school resource officer on campus, which had 72% of people surveyed supporting it.

But parents like Brandi Branson feel like teachers should be in the hallways instead of the police.

“We didn’t have security in our buildings because our teachers cared enough about us to come out and greet us as we come in through the door, I think seeing a teacher as a presence instead of just in the class could deter some of the things we are seeing from occurring,” she said.

But other parents still support the idea.
“The consequence of not having one when you need them is astronomical, how does that compare to offended sensibilities? There is no comparison,” said parent Jared Roberts.

The superintendent said more work is being done on addressing campus safety. In the short term, Leyko said administrators and tech department employees have been working to develop an improved plan for emergency communications. The district has also been in talks with East Lansing police to plan and schedule more active shooter training.

In future plans, officials said an assessment is still ongoing with the fire marshal to find out what outside doors the high school can permanently close off. Leyko said work is also being done on the school resource front after administrators met with mentoring groups to develop a plan for students.

She said the district is still working with consultants to better train staff and prepare a district safety team.