Oklahoma Commission on School Security considers mental health, school safety clearinghouse

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security heard ideas Wednesday from the leaders of two state agencies. The commission is expected to make its final recommendations to lawmakers March 5.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: February 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm •  Published: February 28, 2013
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The Oklahoma Commission on School Security listened to a last round of ideas from state leaders Wednesday afternoon as the group prepared to wrap up its work.

The panel is expected to announce legislative recommendations at its last meeting, which is set for March 5. This week, the commission heard recommendations from two state agencies.

Recommendations

State Mental Health Commissioner Terri White pitched two programs:

• Mental health first-aid training. The 12-hour training course includes information about identifying warning signs and symptoms, crisis intervention and referring students to professional help. White equated it to a traditional first-aid class. “If you were to come up on a car accident, there are certain things you could do in that immediate situation until the professionals get there,” she said. “You're not expected to do open-heart surgery.” The in-person training would be voluntary and free to teachers, administrators and other school staff members. Certification would last for three years. White estimates the training would cost $570,000 per year.



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