Michigan State Senator Introduces Bill to Make Threat Reporting in Schools Mandatory

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State Senator Ruth Johnson (R-HOLLY) on Thursday introduced legislation 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 staff hear of a threat that a “reasonable” person would consider to be a real or implied threat of violence.

All children deserve to feel safe and to be safe in school. We had a horrific tragedy in County Oakland at Oxford High School. I have represented this region for many years and it breaks my heart. I attended a few candlelight vigils and the support from the community was strong. In my role as a legislator, I examine the steps we can take to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again – and this bill is one of those steps. Law enforcement agencies have more expertise and experience in threat assessment, and all threats should be taken seriously. Schools could still take additional steps to deal with threats, but this reform would ensure they are reported to authorities. My bill may be part of an effort to better protect our students and school employees. I also hope this is also part of a collaborative discussion with schools and law enforcement on how best to protect our children. “

State Senator Ruth Johnson

Schools would also be required to train all school staff in their reporting responsibilities.

Johnson said she was also working to secure additional funding for schools to make security upgrades like metal detectors, video cameras or security locks.