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Michigan School Safety Commission Minutes April 28 2021

The Michigan School Safety Commission meeting was held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting was held via Microsoft Teams. 

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by Lt. Colonel Kelenske. Roll call was taken by Ms. Holden.

The following commission members were present via Microsoft Teams:

  • Lt. Col. Chris Kelenske, on behalf of the Michigan State Police (MSP)
  • Chief Ken Plaga
  • Mr. David Knezek
  • Ms. Justine Galbraith
  • Mr. Larry Johnson
  • Ms. Elizabeth Newell
  • Mr. Brian Gard
  • Mr. Rick Joseph
  • Ms. Alicia Urbain

Staff present via Microsoft Teams:

  • Ms. Nancy Becker Bennett
  • Ms. Lindsey Holden
  • Mr. Jason Guthaus
  • Ms. Logan O'Neal
  • Ms. Beth Beattie
  • Ms. Mary Drew
  • Mr. Jonathan Allen

The following guests were present via Microsoft Teams:

  • D/Lt. Scott Layman, MSP, OK2SAY

Approval of January 28, 2021 Meeting Minutes

January 28, 2021 meeting minutes were reviewed. Mr. Guthaus requested an update to the OK2SAY report; the percentage of schools/law enforcement that stated they had received new information should be 73 instead of 63.  Ms. Galbraith requested the OK2SAY report be updated to reflect that the hotline outcome reports are based upon school and law enforcement reporting. Chief Plaga motioned to approve the meeting minutes as amended.  The motion was supported by Mr. Johnson and all were in favor (Ms. Urbain abstained).  The minutes were approved as amended.

Approval of Agenda

Lt. Colonel Kelenske asked that the School Resource Officer (SRO) Curriculum/Certification be moved to the last item on the agenda.  Ms. Urbain motioned to approve the meeting agenda as amended.  The motion was supported by Ms. Galbraith and all were in favor.  The agenda was approved as amended.

Old Business

  1. 2021 Meeting Dates - Lt. Colonel Kelenske

    Due to scheduling conflicts, the 2021 commission meeting dates were changed to April 28, July 28, October 27, 2021. Mr. Johnson motioned to approve the updated meeting dates as presented.  The motion was supported by Mr. Joseph and all were in favor.  The meeting dates were approved as presented.
  2. Incident Report - Ms. Bennett

Due to confidentially of the information included in the incident report, the report was not sent electronically to members.  Ms. Bennett gave a quick summary of the 2nd quarter report.  Members were asked to contact Ms. Bennett directly with questions or to request specific information.

Ms. Bennett reported the Office of School Safety (OSS) will send a reminder to schools this summer about reporting requirements for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year.

  1. OSS Updates - Mr. Guthaus

Mr. Guthaus provided an update on the BJA STOP School Violence Grant.  Dr. Carlson and his team are beginning to develop outline for training modules.  Training will primarily be for SROs and security staff but will include other support staff as well.  The goal is to identify and effectively support students who may be going through a mental health crisis.

Mr. Guthaus discussed threat assessments and their critical importance to school safety. A detailed threat assessment guide/process will be developed through a separate BJA grant, and best practices will be released to schools as available.  These are being collected from other jurisdictions as well as the federal government.

Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) currently being used are from a 2014 template developed by the previous School Safety Task Force.  There is software available from the Department of Homeland Security that allows users to input information and provides document updates with the latest federal guidance which will save schools time and energy entering information.  A vulnerability assessment tool is included in the software and provides actionable suggestions.

The OSS has also identified a platform to host secure repository and communication.  This platform will be password protected and will allow for community conversations.  The MSP is awaiting the use-charter so that it can be reviewed by our legal unit, but the initial planning phase is currently underway. 

New Business

  1. OK2SAY Update - Mr. Guthaus, D/Lieutenant Layman

Mr. Guthaus stated that the presenter contracts have been drafted and are awaiting final approval from the MSP legal unit.  Three previous presenters have been identified and are prepared to provide the trainings in person or virtually once the contracts can be signed.  There are currently 175 presentations that have been requested for 6th - 8th grade students.

If schools would like materials sent to them, they can contact the OSS.  Lt. Colonel Kelenske would like all schools to be sent materials.  OSS will meet with Lt. Colonel Kelenske to discuss further.

D/Lieutenant Layman discussed OK2SAY hotline annual report numbers.  There was an overall decrease in calls over the last year and an increase in cyberbullying calls.  The top three tip categories remain unchanged with suicide threats, other (anxiety/depression), and bullying/cyberbullying.

  1. USSS Averting Targeted School Violence - Lt. Colonel Kelenske

The USSS Averting Targeted School Violence report was sent to members prior to the meeting.  Lt. Colonel Kelenske encouraged members to review the report as it confirms commission recommendations.

  1. Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference Update - Lt. Colonel Kelenske

The Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference scheduled for August 2021, has been canceled once again due to the pandemic.  Conference planners are preparing for the 2022 conference.

  1. OSS Priorities - Mr. Jason Guthaus

Mr. Guthaus discussed priorities for the OSS and ways commission members can assist.  Priorities include use of OK2SAY for early identification and prevention, multidisciplinary threat assessment teams, and updating EOPs across the state.   

  1. Threat Assessment Legislation - Mr. Brian Gard

Mr. Gard discussed states including North Carolina and Indiana are implementing threat assessment legislation.  To move this forward in Michigan, Mr. Gard will contact his Representative to advocate for Michigan-specific legislation.

  1. Conducting Mandatory Drills During Remote Learning - Mr. Larry Johnson

Mr. Johnson discussed mandatory safety drills during remote learning and push back from schools he has received.  Lt. Colonel Kelenske reminded members there has been no changes in the law. 

  1. SRO Curriculum/Certification - Lt. Colonel Kelenske

Lt. Colonel Kelenske discussed the SRO curriculum. The curriculum needs to have standards, needs to be approved by MCOLES, and coordinate efforts.  OSS is looking into other states specific training for tiers.  Lt. Colonel Kelenske would like to discuss this further at the July meeting.

Public Comment
No public comment.               

Mr. Johnson moved to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was supported by Mr. Gard.  The motion was approved by all.  The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.