Barresi wants school districts to look at safety policies
BY KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
12/19/12 at 10:34 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Superintendent Janet Barresi has asked all state school districts to review and re-evaluate their safety policies in light of concerns in the aftermath of last week's school massacre in Connecticut.
"There has been a great deal of discussion and questions about Oklahoma and the safety of our students in this state," she said at the beginning of Wednesday's regularly scheduled meeting of the state Board of Education.
Barresi said she didn't believe that a statewide policy is necessary, but that local school boards should review their policies to make sure it is most applicable to where they are located and their specific situation.
She said districts are already required to have lockdown drills at least twice a year. The focus should be on communicating to parents what each district has in place to protect their students' safety, she said.
Barresi praised the teachers in the Connecticut who selflessly protected their students from the gunman, several of whom died while doing so.
"I believe that is naturally the inclination of every teacher in this nation," she said. "My prayer is that from this, we take a strong look at this and focus on what we are doing to teach our kids in a safe environment."
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi back in 2011. PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND/NewsOK.com