In times of great tragedy, we pause to remember. Emotions stir in our hearts, causing us to hold our loved ones close and search for ways to protect and prevent. As a father, I can't begin to fathom the grief and sorrow felt by the families in Newtown, Conn. The loss of innocent life can never be fully understood or explained; no words or actions can reverse the course.
My prayer is this: May the Lord prevent a Newtown-like event from happening in an Oklahoma school. However, if we're ever faced with a potentially fatal circumstance, let's be ready. As parents, we expect our children to return home in the same condition they were in when they left our care. Proactive, preventive measures are crucial for the security of our most prized possessions — our children.
I recently joined Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon in announcing the formation of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security. The solution-based purpose of this commission will aid in yielding reforms the Legislature can approve.
My service as a special agent in the U.S. Secret Service provided me experiences in securing facilities of all shapes and sizes. While serving in the state Senate, I was the principal author of the Oklahoma School Security Act — legislation that increased school lockdown drills to twice per year and provided school administrators with positions on the Homeland Security Advisory Board. My background has set the stage for leading the commission and its members as we work together to forge meaningful school security policy.