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Legislature passes bill to put millions toward security at Michigan schools

Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., a small town about 30 miles north of Detroit.
Emily Elconin
Getty Images
Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., a small town about 30 miles north of Detroit.

A bill that has been approved by both chambers of the Michigan Legislature would provide funding for safety and security assessments at public and private schools around the state.

Its $27 million allocation would also support the creation of detailed maps that supporters said could be helpful to school staff and emergency responders.

State Senator Ruth Johnson, a Republican, said the legislation is a concrete way to protect schools.

It would "provide new resources to schools across our state to help them improve their security, to keep their school communities safe," she said.

The bill would also set aside nearly $10 million for additional support to the Oxford Community School District following the November mass shooting at the district’s high school.

The funds could be used for personnel and additional student supports, including psychologists, family liaisons, mental health staff, school security, additional learning time, legal fees, and the physical restoration of a school building.

"No amount of funding will bring back those who are lost, but we must give the school the resources they need to best serve their students, teachers, and staff who were deeply affected by this tragedy," Johnson said.

On the same day the bill passed the Senate, more than 100 Oxford High School students walked out of class in a show of support for students and teachers killed in Uvalde, Texas, this week.

The students gathered on the football field and stood in the shape of the letter U. The walkout lasted for about half an hour.

The students were part of nationwide student walkouts organized by Students Demand Action.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.