Oklahoma Commission On School Security Holds First Meeting

Tuesday, January 22nd 2013, 7:48 pm

By: News 9

It's on the minds of families across our state - the safety of our kids, especially at school.

After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Oklahoma Commission on School Security was formed. The group met for the first time Tuesday at the state Capitol.

This goal of this commission is to take a close look at where our schools are and what improvements can be made to make them safer.

On Tuesday, the new commission heard from a group of experts on issues from public safety to mental health.

A month after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, leaders across Oklahoma are working to make schools in our state safer.

Lt. Gov. Todd lamb led the first meeting today of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, a group of 22 members including law enforcement, counselors, principals and teachers.

"There's a lot to cover. We want to get a firm foundation on where we are on school security," Lt. Gov. Lamb said.

While Oklahoma has been spared from a major school tragedy like Sandy Hook, state leaders want to be proactive in beefing up school security here.

"Everybody wishes you could but you can't stop all evil in the world in which we live. So the goal is to analyze a comprehensive analysis on school security to mitigate and to lessen any potential dangers that may be out there," Lt. Gov. Lamb said.

That's why over the next few weeks, they're looking at factors related to school security.

Today, a mental health expert talked about school risk factors like victimization, violence and substance abuse.

The Dept. of Education said any effective policy needs to address bullying.

Another national expert on security talked about outside risk factors to schools, like the gunman at Sandy Hook.

And state leaders say today's shooting on a college campus near Houston underscores the need to prepare now for emergency situations.

"It's just another reminder that there's evil in the world and often evil wants to find innocence," Lt. Gov. Lamb said.

The new commission will meet again at the Capitol February 5, and over the next few weeks this group will decide what policy recommendations to make to the state legislature in March.

The commission will also be deciding how to pay for possible new safety measures.

Some school districts have already beefed up campus security, like forming long term partnerships with local law enforcement agencies.


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