LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State Senator Ruth Johnson (R-HOLLY) introduced legislation on Thursday that would require mandatory reporting of threats in schools to law enforcement.
Senate Bill 789 would require schools to immediately report law enforcement whenever school personnel hears of a threat that a “reasonable” person would believe constitutes an actual or implied threat of violence.
All children deserve to feel safe and be safe at school. We had a horrific tragedy in Oakland County at Oxford High School. I have represented this area for many years and it breaks my heart. I’ve attended a few of the candlelight vigils, and the community support has been strong. In my role as a legislator, I am looking at what steps we can take to help prevent a tragedy like this from happening again — and this bill is one of those steps. Law enforcement has more expertise and experience in evaluating threats, and all threats should be taken seriously. Schools could still take additional steps to address threats, but this reform would ensure they are reported to authorities. My bill can be part of an effort to better protect our students and school employees. I also hope that it is also part of a collaborative discussion with schools and law enforcement on how to best keep our kids safe.”State Senator Ruth Johnson
Schools would also be required to train all school personnel about their responsibilities regarding reporting.
Johnson said she is also working on securing additional funding for schools to make security upgrades like metal detectors, video cameras or security locks.