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Theis requests state audit of school safety drill compliance

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Lana Theis on Wednesday requested a formal auditor general audit to verify whether Michigan K-12 schools are conducting, documenting and reporting mandatory safety drills.

Schools are required by law to conduct at least three safety drills per academic year and to document and publicly report the drills have been completed. After the shooting that occurred at Oxford High School last year, Theis began to research the status of safety drills compliance in the state.

“What I found was alarming,” said Theis, R-Brighton, who chairs the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee. “School safety drills are entirely self-directed and self-reported. There is no process to ensure schools are following the official state police drill model, nor any formal state record to verify whether safety drills have been conducted. This is an extraordinarily concerning development that must be corrected for the sake of every student and parent in our state.”

In response, Theis submitted a formal audit request to state Auditor General Doug Ringler, asking him to conduct a comprehensive review of the following:

  1. Over the past three school years, have school districts in Michigan completed the safety drills required in MCL 29.19(5); and
  2. Over the past three school years, have school districts in Michigan maintained the proper documentation and reporting requirements as outlined in MCL 29.19(7).

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our children, and I am hopeful Auditor General Ringler will accept my request to audit schools’ safety drill compliance,” Theis said. “Regardless of his findings, it is clear more must be done to streamline this process and ensure our schools and our students are better prepared.”

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