Statement by Lt. Col. Chris Kelenske, Chair, Michigan School Safety Commission

Contact: Shanon Banner, MSP Public Affairs Section, 517-284-3222

In the aftermath of the extreme tragedy that occurred yesterday at Oxford High School, the Michigan State Police (MSP) Office of School Safety and Michigan School Safety Commission extend our deepest condolences to all those impacted by this senseless act of violence.

While this incident serves as another unfortunate reminder of the need for continued vigilance in keeping our schools and children safe, the Office of School Safety and Michigan School Safety Commission remain committed to doing what we can to assist schools with safety and security.

In addition to the quick response yesterday by emergency responders, school personnel and students, there is no doubt that the school safety training, drills, exercises and planning that were conducted in advance by the Oxford School District and emergency responders saved lives.

Best practices in school security require a layered approach that involves a series of actions to improve school safety and security. One such action is the use of the student safety program OK2SAY, which allows students to confidentially report tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at students, school employees and schools. The goal of OK2SAY is to stop harmful behavior before it occurs by encouraging anyone to report threatening behavior to caring adult authorities who can help. Please visit OK2SAY for more information and resources.

Earlier today, planning documents and informational resources were emailed to school administrators to assist them as they continue to evaluate potential threats and put into place preventative measures to mitigate threats and maintain safe learning environments in our schools.

Since FY15, the State of Michigan has appropriated over $55 million in competitive grants to schools to improve and enhance security measures. The application and application guidance for another round of grants totaling $10 million will be released on Feb. 1, 2022, with awards made no later than May 1, 2022. More information about the Competitive School Safety Grant Program can be found here.