Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lamb, Oklahoma Commission on School Security Release Policy Recommendations

OKLAHOMA CAPITOL—Lt. Governor Todd Lamb joined the 22 members of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security on Tuesday to announce their policy recommendations that stem from a several week comprehensive analysis of Oklahoma school security issues.  These policy recommendations were formally released in the 2013 Report of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security.

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security was formed after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December.  President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon asked Lt. Governor Lamb to chair the statewide commission.  Lt. Governor Lamb is a former United States Secret Service Agent and as a State Senator was the principal author of the 2008 Oklahoma School Security Act.  Commission agendas included speaker testimony and discussion on the various factors related to school security including but not limited to public safety, mental health, training, engineering and local control.

“The members of this commission sacrificed their time and provided their expertise to this very important issue,” said Lt. Governor Lamb.  “As parents we want all children to do well academically, but our first priority is for our children, our students to be safe and secure during their school day.  No policy can prevent evil from occurring, but our hope is that these recommendations will mitigate and lessen the potential of future large scale school violence.”

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security was given a March deadline in order for recommendations to be placed in bills this legislative session.

After hearing expert testimony and completing their study, the Oklahoma Commission on School Security submitted the following legislative recommendations:

  1. Formation of the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI)
  2. Establish a Mental Health First Aid Training Pilot Program
  3. Amend and change state law to consolidate and require safety drills
  4. Require the reporting of firearms found on school property to local law enforcement
  5. Establish a school security tip line

The 22 members of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security represented various backgrounds including homeland security, local police, local school personnel, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and mental health.

Governor Mary Fallin commented on the findings of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security.

“The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary was an unwelcome reminder that we must actively work to address the mental health needs of our state. It also served to remind us of the need to ensure our schools are well-prepared for emergency situations.

“The Commission on School Security has done a good job at addressing those issues and we expect to be able to implement many of its proposals. My thanks go out to Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and the members of the commission for their diligent work to help ensure Oklahoma’s children and schools are kept safe."

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman also commented on the issuance of the Report.

“There is no issue more important than the safety of Oklahoma’s school children,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “I want to thank our commission members for their dedication to serving Oklahoma families. Their generous contribution of time and subject-matter expertise is greatly appreciated. I also would like to extend my gratitude to Lt. Governor Todd Lamb for leading the conversation to produce thoughtful, policy-driven recommendations for the legislature to consider.

“In creating the Commission on School Security with fellow legislative leaders, my hope has been and continues to be the development of forward-thinking proposals to address the issues surrounding school safety. While recognizing no single policy proposal can prevent all potential acts of evil, I do believe we can be proactive in providing greater resources for teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals in Oklahoma schools. I am committed to seeing that the recommendations of the commission are given an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Oklahoma state Senate.”

The 2013 Report of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security can be viewed in its entirety online at

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