New state panel to focus on school safety in Oklahoma
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Friday, December 21, 2012
12/21/12 at 5:59 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will lead an Oklahoma Commission on School Security with the objective of making school campuses the safest in the nation.
"Everything will be on the table," Lamb said at a state Capitol news conference Thursday. "We want to make sure we look at everything and leave no stone unturned."
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, and Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, announced formation of the commission with Lamb, although many of the group's details are being left undefined at this point.
Bingman said he would like to have ideas available for consideration this year.
The commission will listen to the input of "subject area experts" - including educators, parents, school board members and first responders - on how to make the state's schools secure, Lamb said.
The effort needs to be "proactive not reactive," designed to bring a clear-eyed look at what needs to be done to make schools safe, Lamb said.
Lamb sidestepped how the Legislature should deal with a proposal from Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, and Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, to allow trained and licensed teachers and administrators to carry guns.
"The goal is to assess and reassess ... and to see where we are in school security," said Lamb, a former U.S. Secret Service agent.
Shannon also said the group's focus will be action, not reaction. "I wanted to make sure this discussion is centered on one thing and one thing only ... the security of our children," he said. "A one-size-fits-all solution will not be right for Oklahoma."
Bingman and Shannon said they had spoken with Democratic legislative leaders and wanted to address the issue in a nonpartisan fashion.
Original Print Headline: Panel to focus on school safety
Wayne Greene 918-581-8308
Brian Bingman and T.W. Shannon: The state leaders say the Oklahoma Commission on School Security will seek ideas for making schools more secure