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Bill calls for stricter rules for school emergency drills


Michigan schools would have to be more transparent about how they conduct emergency safety drills under a bill approved Wednesday in the state House.

House Bill 4713 would require schools to post on their websites when and how they do things like fire, tornado, and lock-down drills.

“So rather than fill out a two page report that sits in a desk drawer that nobody ever sees, just post it on the website for five days, and mom and dad and grandma and grandpa know that the drills are being conducted,” said bill sponsor Rep. Joe Graves (R-Argentine Township).

The legislation would also require that drills be spread out through the school year.

It’s a response to a report this year by MLive Media Group, which found many schools are not conducting the safety drills properly.

The measure got overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. But some state lawmakers and Michigan school groups don’t like it – including Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor).

“Mostly, it’s adding more paperwork and more bureaucracy to the process for our school districts, that are already choking on difficult budgets,” said Irwin.

The bill now goes to the state Senate.