Cambensy honors participants of 2018 school safety forums

Michigan House 109th District Rep. Sara Cambensy, left, poses for a picture with, from left, Capt. John Halpin, Eighth District Commander, Michigan State Police; Chief Blake Rieboldt, Marquette City Police Department; Sheriff Greg Zyburt, Marquette County Sheriff’s Office; Nate Dawson, school resource officer, MPD; William Saunders, superintendent of Marquette Area Public Schools. The group met for a legislative tribute Jan. 4. Participants were recognized by Cambensy for their role in school safety forums held in Marquette County last spring. (Courtesy photo)

MARQUETTE — State Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, on Monday will be presenting a School Safety Tribute to highlight state and local law enforcement officials who participated in school safety town halls last spring.

The presentation will occur at 9:45 a.m. Monday at Ishpeming High School.

An initial tribute was held at Marquette Senior High School on Jan. 4 to honor others who participated as well as their continuing work on the issue.

The goal of the town halls, which were held at MSHS and Ishpeming schools, was to open a dialogue between school officials, law enforcement, students, lawmakers and community members.

The forums addressed a wide range of topics, including the statewide helpline available to students and community members to anonymously report possible threats of violence in our schools and communities, Cambensy said in a Friday press release.

“I’m glad to be able to recognize both Marquette Area Public Schools and Ishpeming Public Schools, as well as a representative of the state’s OK2Say program and local law enforcement officials for participating in two forums with me last year on school safety,” Cambensy said. “These forums helped shift the conversation away from a debate about the merits of gun ownership to instead focus on what schools are doing to keep students safe. At a time when no one wanted to talk about this issue because of the deadlock over guns, these officials stood with me and agreed it was time to talk about the root of the problems and where we need more support in our schools to make a difference, and I applaud them for that.”

Cambensy said the forums, in addition to several other statewide efforts resulted in over $50 million in appropriations for additional school counselors and law enforcement officials to support Michigan schools.

For more information online about the state’s OK2Say program, visit https://www.michigan.gov/ok2say/.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.