Skip to main content

Michigan School Safety Commission Minutes July 28 2021

The Michigan School Safety Commission meeting was held on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, via Microsoft Teams.

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

The following commission members were present via Microsoft Teams:

  • Lt. Col. Chris Kelenske
  • Mr. David Knezek
  • Chief Ken Plaga
  • Ms. Justine Galbraith
  • Mr. Larry Johnson
  • Ms. Elizabeth Newell
  • Mr. Brian Gard
  • Mr. Rick Joseph
  • Ms. Alicia Urbain
  • Ms. Theresa Bassett

Staff present via Microsoft Teams:

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

The following guests were present via Microsoft Teams:

  • Mr. Tim Bourgeois, MSP, MCOLES
  • Ms. Mary Teachout, MDE, on behalf of Mr. Kyle Guerrant and Ms. Aimee Alaniz

Approval of April 28, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Mr. Joseph motioned to approve the meeting minutes.  The motion was supported by Chief Plaga and all were in favor. The meeting minutes were approved as presented.

Approval of Agenda

Chief Plaga motioned to approve the meeting agenda.  The motion was supported by Mr. Gard and all were in favor.  The agenda was approved as presented.

Old Business

  1. 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 overview of the 3rd quarter report. Members were asked to contact Ms. Bennett directly with questions or to request specific information.  Mr. Gard asked if a comparison could be made from the current data to last year's data.  Ms. Bennett stated that that data was difficult to compare year-to-year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The illegal possession of controlled substances or alcohol has been the highest reported category in every quarterly incident report.  The number of schools reporting incidents has declined due to school closures.
  1. SRO Curriculum - Mr. Bourgeois
    Recommendations 18 and 19 will require MCOLES to identify and develop training.  Legislation will be required in order to mandate the training. MCOLES has received a letter from the commission but has not yet been able to move forward with the recommendations due to a lack of personnel and resources.
  1. Office of School Safety (OSS) Updates - Mr. Jason Guthaus, Mr. Allen
  1. Progress on Recommendations - Mr. Guthaus discussed the OSS progress on the task force recommendations. An email including a back-to-school checklist describing safety drill and reporting requirements was recently sent out to schools.  An additional reminder containing the same resources will be sent to schools later in August.  The email was sent to school administrators listed in the CEPI database and to anyone who signed up for the OSS newsletter.  Commission members also received the email.

The first regional school steering committee meeting will be held on October 18, 2021, via Microsoft Teams.  After a plenary meeting, school districts will meet either in online breakout rooms or in person.  Steering committee meetings will be held quarterly starting in 2022. Commission members are invited to attend the steering committee meetings.  The steering committees are intended to provide school districts with a way to discuss similar trends and to provide feedback to the OSS.  Representatives from local school administration, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, local law enforcement agencies, and local emergency managers will take part in the committees.

The OSS reviewed the Readiness and Emergency Management (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) tool and were disappointed. The OSS has decided not to move forward with promoting the tool and instead, is continuing to update the state of Michigan EOP guidance and will incorporate resources from the REMS TA Center.

The OSS has provided a subgrant from the BJA STOP School Violence grant to gain the assistance of a professor from Michigan State University to develop mental health training.  The development of this training is going well.  Outlines for six online training modules for school resource officers and security personnel have been created.  The training will take at least a year to develop. Training for other stakeholder groups will also be developed.

  1. OK2SAY Material Distribution Update - OK2SAY promotional materials will be mailed to approximately 4,100 schools hopefully within the next month. These materials include an overview letter, an implementation guide, posters, contact cards, and brochures.  Mr. Allen presented the resources' designs.

New Business

  1. OK2SAY Update - Ms. Drew
    Ms. Drew stated that the 2020 OK2SAY report was released on May 14, 2021.  In 2021, OK2SAY has received 1,162 tips in 2021, which is down 77% compared to the same period in 2020.  "Other" (anxiety, stress, depression, and harassment), suicide threats, bullying, drugs, and sexual misconduct are the top five tip categories. This is the first year that "other" tips are the top category.

Three OK2SAY presenters have been provided contracts and are returning to provide presentations to middle schools.  Presentations will be provided virtually and in person.

Partnerships with the Michigan High School Athletics Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Pathways to Potential program have been developed to promote OK2SAY and distribute OK2SAY supplies.  The OSS and OK2SAY are partnering with the Volunteers of America's Operation Backpack to help get school supplies to low-income and homeless students. OK2SAY supplies will be included in the backpacks.

OK2SAY is hiring technicians to help staff the hotline in the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center.  These are vacant staff positions and interviews will be held in mid- August.

OK2SAY will be participating in the MSP Safety Day on August 10, 2021 and the Jackson Post open house on August 27, 2021.

Ms. Drew shared a success story where a student making suicide threats was taken to the hospital.  Additional OK2SAY success stories are included in the annual report.

Round Table
Lt. Col. Kelenske opened up the meeting for round table discussion.  No members commented.

Public Comment
No public comment.

Mr. Johnson motioned to adjourn the meeting. The motion was supported by Chief Plaga. The motion was approved by all. The meeting was adjourned at 2:51 p.m.