Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

February 13, 2013

Commission studies school security proposals

OKLAHOMA CITY — Members of a state task force created after the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school began reviewing a list of safety proposals on Tuesday that they will use to help prevent similar attacks in Oklahoma.

The 39 proposals were developed by members of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security and are the result of a series of presentations from school security and terrorism experts on ways to protect the safety of public school students. The task force’s final recommendations will be delivered to state lawmakers next month for possible action this year.

Among other things, the proposals include more mental health treatment for troubled students, mandatory training for school staffs on bullying and emergency preparedness, and the creation of a school security institute that would coordinate and standardize school security procedures statewide.

The 22-member task force, headed by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, was formed after a deadly shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killed 20 children and six school employees. The list of school safety proposals does not identify which member of the task force submitted each one.

“We cannot stop evil from occurring,” Lamb told task force members. But the task force’s recommendations can enhance emergency preparedness guidelines that are already in place and makes Oklahoma schools and students safer.

In 2008, lawmakers adopted the Oklahoma School Security Act. Among other things, the law requires school districts to conduct lockdown drills at each public school. It also requires school administrators to investigate reports of harassment, intimidation, bullying or threatening behavior, including emails or texts.

The proposals include creation of the Oklahoma School Safety and Security Institute, centralized safety and security training for Oklahoma schools. It would provide training opportunities for school administrators, teachers, staff members and law enforcement authorities on how to deal with school security incidents.

Other states have instituted similar standardized school safety training classes. For the past 13 years, authorities in Indiana have operated the School Safety Specialist Academy that provides certified training and information on school safety practices, as well as resources for school safety, security and emergency preparedness planning.

Another proposal that encourages promoting systematic training of school personnel in safe school preparation rebuts suggestions that schools should be armed with guards and faculty designated to carry guns. “Children are safer in school than in any other place — that may include their own homes,” the proposal says.

A House committee has passed a measure that gives school boards the option to allow teachers who receive law enforcement training to carry weapons into schools. Several other bills have been introduced to allow those with a handgun license to bring guns onto school campuses.

Other proposals include helping school districts fortify schools with ways to keep intruders out, including secured entrances and school communication, security cameras, security locks for all classrooms and secure entry ways fortified with bullet-proof glass.

1
Text Only
State/Nation
  • Perry: Texas plans to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to bolster security along the Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA renames building for Neil Armstrong

    NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • New arrivals worry some in the Oklahoma panhandle

    A family who says they were excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect has moved to a small city located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, raising concerns among some residents.

    July 20, 2014

  • Celebrate 45 years since man's first steps on the moon

    Now's the time to get moonstruck.

    Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step ... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

    July 20, 2014

  • US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma Capitol renovation project previewed

    State officials have previewed preliminary plans for renovating the century-old Oklahoma State Capitol amid a display of artifacts from groundbreaking ceremonies for the structure.

    July 17, 2014

  • House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

    The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

    One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

    July 17, 2014

  • Should online accounts die when you die?

    Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

    July 17, 2014

  • Obama, Putin discuss Malaysia Plane incident

    The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have discussed the Malaysia Airlines plane incident over eastern Ukraine.

    July 17, 2014

  • Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs

    Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs or 14 percent of its workforce as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.

    July 17, 2014