Claremore Daily Progress

December 20, 2012

Oklahoma legislatures act on school security

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

OKLAHOMA CITY — Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb announced today one week after the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School the formation of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security. 

Lamb working along side of Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, House Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon, Senate Democratic Leader Sean Burrage is working to put the commission into immediate action.

The make up is not totally defined at this time but there will be experts on the commission, according to Lamb.

“The goal is clear that our most precious commodity, our children, when they are at school, they are the safest and most secure in Oklahoma,” said Lamb.

Oklahoma is the first in the nation to form this type of committee, according to Lamb.

The commission will report when requested and the legislative leadership will act accordingly, he added.

The issue of gun control will be addressed at the federal level, according to Lamb. This commission will act on the issues of school security.

All legislation on the issue will be considered, however the focus will be on addressing safety.

“The question will be not what makes us feel safer but what will actually make us safer, “ said Shannon. “I want to make sure this discussion was centered on one thing only, the safety of our children.”

We are going to have action not reaction to the events, he added.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to make sure our schools are as safe as possible. As state leaders were want to make sure we are doing everything to make sure that the schools in our state are as safe as possible,” Bingman said.

The creation of the commission follows the precedence set by the 2008 Oklahoma School Security Act, according to Lamb.

The act brought the definition of bullying and cyber bullying into place, increased the frequency of safety drills and lastly it empowered local school district to decide if schools can be used as a polling places, he added.

Prior to 2008 and the passage of the act, any person could walk into a school.

This act was one step in creating safer schools and the commission will be one more step.

The commission will be used to asses and reassess where we are at in Oklahoma on school security.

Mental health, first responders, parents, educators and many other subject matter experts will serve on the commission.