4/16/18 – Governor Calls for Improvements in School Security

In this March 8, 2018 file photo, Alondra Alvarez, a student at Western International High School, goes through a metal detector and has her backpack checked as she enters the school in Detroit. 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 outlined on Monday, April 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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 outlined 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 let’s do more,” Snyder told The Associated Press in an interview before releasing the plan, which does not include gun-related measures. He said he continues to study “red flag” legislation, which would allow courts to order the temporary seizure of guns from people showing signs of mental distress or violence. That legislation has not been embraced by his fellow Republicans in the GOP-led Legislature.

“What I wanted to do to start this, though, was not make it about guns but to make it about the schools and school safety and how to protect our students and people working in the schools,” he said. “Because there’s a lot of good things we can just start now or reinforce now that are already out there.”

Snyder called for $20 million in grants to harden school buildings with improved locks and communication systems. That would follow $2 million the state allocated in 2017 and $4.5 million spent in 2015 — grants that helped fund security improvements at more than 100 schools.