House passes bill requiring schools to hold three lockdown drills per year, post records online

The state House passed legislation Wednesday that would require K-12 schools to hold three lockdown drills per school year, as well as post verification on their websites that they’ve completed each drill.

As it stands, K-12 schools are required by state law to hold six fire drills, two tornado drills and two lockdown drills per year. House Bill 4713, introduced by Rep. Joseph Graves, R-Argentine Township, would remove one required fire drill and replace it with an additional lockdown drill.

The legislation would also add additional reporting requirements for schools to prove they’ve completed each drill. Within five days of completing a drill, a school would be required to post a detailed report on its website that includes the date and time of the drill, the type of drill completed, the person in charge of coordinating the drill, and more.

Supporters of the proposal, including the Michigan State Police, argue that the legislation will increase accountability for schools that don’t complete all of their drills, and thus help ensure that all school employees, administrators and students are properly trained in how to deal with emergencies.

However, opponents like the Michigan Association of School Boards and the Michigan Association of School Administrators argue that the additional reporting requirements mandated by the legislation could increase the likelihood of a bad actor getting his or her hands on the drill information and using it to plot an attack. 

House Bill 4713 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.