Bridge Senior Writer Ron French says the odds that a shooting will happen at any one school are astronomically low, but he says schools still have to spend time and money preparing for an active shooter in their building. Bridge examined what districts across Michigan are doing to make buildings more secure and the drills in case of an active shooter.
French says that even though the costs of school security keep rising there is little agreement about best safety practices. He says there are a few simple things that everyone agrees on like locking outside doors. But French says the type of security and the details of active shooter drills varies from district to district.
Schools in Michigan are required to perform three lock down drills a year. French says there are recommendations from the Michigan State Police, but not requirements. However, he says no one is keeping track of what happens at individual schools. French says while there are state grants for enhanced school security, there is no way to compare what districts are doing.
In 2020 every school will have to have an emergency plan. French says that’s a positive step forward, although he says most schools probably have one now. French says the Office of School Safety was created by Legislature, but has received no funding. He says neither the budget proposal from Governor Gretchen Whitmer nor from the Legislature includes money for the school safety office.