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Michigan School Safety Commission Minutes October 22, 2020

The Michigan School Safety Commission meeting was held on Thursday, October 22, 2020. 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. Col. 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
  • Ms. Justine Galbraith
  • Mr. Larry Johnson
  • Ms. Patricia Kovacs
  • Ms. Elizabeth Newell
  • Mr. Brian Gard

Staff present via Microsoft Teams:

  • Ms. Nancy Becker Bennett
  • Ms. Lindsey Holden
  • F/Lt. E. Scott Seida
  • Mr. Jason Guthaus
  • Ms. Logan O'Neal
  • Ms. Beth Beattie

The following guests were present via Microsoft Teams:

  • D/Lt. Scott Layman, MSP, OK2SAY
  • Mr. Tim Bourgeois, MSP, MCOLES
  • Ms. Aimee Alaniz, MDE

Approval of July 30, 2020 Meeting Minutes

July 30, 2020 meeting minutes were reviewed. Chief Plaga motioned to approve the meeting minutes as presented.  The motion was supported by Mr. Gard and all were in favor.  The minutes were approved as presented.

Approval of Agenda

Chief Plaga motioned to approve the meeting agenda as presented.  The motion was supported by Ms. Galbraith 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 report.  Members were asked to contact Ms. Bennett directly with questions or to request specific information.
  2. Office of School Safety (OSS)
    1. Update of Federal Grants - Ms. Bennett reiterated to Commission members that the MSP Grants and Community Services Division applied for and received two federal Bureau of Justice Assistance school safety grants.  The first grant enhances the OSS work and the second grant is to focus on mental health services which the OSS will be working with an MSU Professor and PHD student to develop. Ms. Bennett also let Commission members know that the OSS sent out the first of its quarterly newsletters and read the topics.  Ms. Bennett told members that the newsletter would be emailed out to them and that it was posted on the OSS website.
    2. Status of Recommendations - Ms. Beattie reviewed the status of the 2018 recommendations; six have been completed, 20 are in progress, and three have not been started.
  3. Discussion of current Recommendations - Lt. Col. Kelenske
    Lt. Col. Kelenske read PA 548 of 2018, section 12, to review responsibilities of the Commission and discussed next steps for the recommendations. Discussion focused on reviewing what has been completed for each recommendation, moving completed items off the list, prioritizing remaining recommendations, and identifying specific task items to move forward.

    OSS staff will send an overview of each recommendation with progress information to members with a survey that will include prioritization questions and ask members which recommendations they would like to work on. OSS staff will review survey data and develop subcommittees based on responses.
  4. Proposal Mechanism for new Recommendations - Lt. Col. Kelenske
    Not discussed.
  5. MI Safety & Drill Planning Considerations - Lt. Col. Kelenske
    Lt. Col. Kelenske discussed the document written by LARA and MDE that was sent to schools on October 12, 2020. Ms. Alaniz stated the document was developed to go along with an Executive Order from the Governor's Office but due to the recent legal proceedings, the Executive Order was not released. Ms. Alaniz also stated LARA and the Governor's Office are working on a potential wavier of drill requirements.  


New Business

  1. Office of School Safety ISD Survey - Ms. Beattie
    Ms. Beattie provided an overview of the results of the survey sent to ISDs by the OSS.


  1. OK2SAY Update - Ms. Bennett, D/Lt. Layman
    Ms. Bennett discussed the transition of OK2SAY staff from the AG's office to the OSS, effective Oct. 1, 2020. Ms. Bennett stated that no changes are being made to the program at this time, and that current staff are continuing their roles.Transition from old to new computers, emails, and other required supplies is ongoing.There was discussion on how presentations will be made to schools in the current environment and who will be providing the presentations. Chief Plaga and Mr. Gard offered their assistance moving forward. Ms. Bennett let members know OK2SAY will be the main topic in the OSS newsletter scheduled to be released in January 2021.

    D/Lt. Layman discussed current OK2SAY hotline numbers, the overall decrease in calls over the last few months, and the dramatic increase in cyberbullying calls. Lt. Col. Kelenske discussed sending a letter to superintendents to let them know about the current increase in cyberbullying calls to the hotline and remind them about OK2SAY hotline information. Ms. Kovacs wondered if an advertisement could be sent to schools so they could forward it to the student emails as a reminder of the hotline.


  1. MCOLES Update - Mr. Bourgeois
    Mr. Bourgeois presented recommendation information to the MCOLES Commission in September. At this time, MCOLES is understaffed and there may be delays completing recommendations.   


  1. Expiring terms of Commission members - Lt. Col. Kelenske
    Lt. Col. Kelenske discussed members terms that would expire January 14, 2021. Those interested in serving another term must reapply on the Governor's appointment website.


  1. Proposed 2021 Meeting Dates - Lt. Col. Kelenske
    School Safety Commission meeting dates for 2021were reviewed with no issues.Meeting dates will be January 28, 2021; April 22, 2021; July 22, 2021; and October 28, 2021.Time remains at 2:00 pm.


Public Comment

No public comment.        


Chief Plaga moved to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was supported by Mr. Johnson.  The motion was approved by all.  The meeting adjourned at 3:33 p.m.