Investigation Finds Some Michigan Schools Ignore Safety Laws

By Nirvi Shah — March 13, 2013 1 min read
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Even if state and federal lawmakers require new safety standards at schools, they won’t matter if schools don’t work to meet them.

A Michigan newspaper investigation finds that although the state has been lauded for safety laws adopted in 2006, schools do a spotty job of implementing them.

Reporters from newspapers across Michigan collaborated on this four-part project, the last stories of which were posted online today.

While the Michigan education department doesn’t review how schools carry out required practice drills—how students should act in case of a fire or other emergency—when reporters looked, they found that some schools carried out all the required drills on one day of the school year, one class after another. Some records showed drills were conducted when schools were closed. It’s unclear what some schools did, because their records were incomplete or missing.

After the shootings in Newtown, Conn., in December, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill allowing guns in schools and ordered a review of school safety in his state, but the newspapers tackled such a review first.

The series also looks at the issue of arming teachers and best practices in school safety.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.