School Security Act proposed

Saturday, February 23rd 2008, 11:51 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

A 20-year-old Anadarko man remains behind bars tonight on a complaint of terrorism threat.

Joshua Hunter was arrested Thursday after police say he told a friend he planned to shoot students and release chemical bombs at Lawton and Chickasha schools.

As a result, several schools were put on lockdown Thursday afternoon.

This incident is once again putting the spotlight on school security.

This past Thursday, school officials weren't taking any chances, and neither was OSBI. These violent threats are more reasons why Senator Todd Lamb is pushing for more school safety measures.

The Oklahoma School Security Act, also known as SB 1941, outlines four major provisions on how to make your child's schools more secure. Lamb says right now state law requires one lockdown drill a year; this bill would add two more drills, making it second nature for students to respond to these types of situations.

"The lockdown drill should be spread throughout the day and spread out throughout the school year because we have a very transient mobile society," Sen. Todd Lamb (R) District 47 said. "If you have a student transferring in, they may have missed the last lockdown drill and you want them on the same page as everyone else."

Secondly, the security act will suggest reducing violence and bullying and adding stricter rules to an already existing anti-bullying law.

"There's no teeth in teeth in that law," Lamb said. "It's hard to pursue those individuals so we provide bullying via e-mail, text message. If you bully through those methods, you can be punished."

The third provision says to take polling places out of schools. Lamb adds it poses as a security risk since people can walk in without showing their ID.

"We allow all kinds of strangers to come in and it doesn't make much sense," Lamb said. "So, if we get the superintendents discretion to not have polling places in their school, it could really prevent someone who is no good on Election Day."

Lamb says the fourth part of the bill also pushes for local school officials to be more involved with security on a regional level.

The bill will now be considered by the Full Senate after the Senate Education Committee approved State Bill 1941 this past Monday.