Michigan House Republicans
Leader Hall repeats call for hearings on school safety legislation as House commends social workers for safety efforts
RELEASE|March 5, 2024
Contact: Matt Hall

House Republican Leader Matt Hall again called for legislative action to support school resource officers (SROs) as House Democrats continue more than a year of foot-dragging on a bipartisan school safety plan.

The House on Tuesday resoundingly approved a resolution recognizing school social workers and their role in school safety — less than a week after House Democrats blocked a similar measure honoring SROs, the law enforcement officers who build relationships with students and staff while keeping schools safe. Hall, R-Richland Township, criticized Democrat leaders for banishing the commemorative resolution to die in committee and for refusing to hold hearings on a comprehensive school safety and mental health plan that would support SROs by standardizing safety training at schools, ensuring each school has an up-to-date safety plan, and streamlining communication about school emergencies.

“School resource officers are on the frontlines of school safety, forging bonds with students and keeping our classrooms safe,” Hall said. “They deserve our full support. But House Democrats are dropping the ball on supporting officers and making our schools safer, whether removing funding for the school resource officers who keep kids safe at school or stonewalling our bipartisan school safety plan for more than a year. Democrats even rejected a resolution honoring School Resource Officer Month. It’s time for Democrats to stop making excuses and start holding hearings on the comprehensive school safety and mental health legislation.”

In the 2023 budget, Democrats eliminated dedicated funding to support SROs at Michigan school districts and attempted to defund the School Safety and Mental Health Commission created by Republicans in 2022. The governor’s latest budget proposal again asks the Legislature to defund the commission, which coordinates safety and mental health services with schools across the state. The school safety plan and mental health legislation would permanently establish the commission in law.

House Republicans and some House Democrats introduced the school safety and mental health legislation more than a year ago. The plan resulted from a bipartisan task force Republicans set up after the Oxford shooting. The task force heard from parents, law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, and educators before writing the 13-bill package.

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