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Oklahoma school security group narrows ideas

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security met Feb. 19 and continued to narrow down ideas for its final recommendations to the Legislature.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: February 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security is inching closer to making recommendations to lawmakers about how to make state schools safer.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is leading the bipartisan group, said he is pleased with the progress.

“It looks like now we're funneling the ideas down to recommendations for the Legislature,” Lamb said. “It's such a broad and challenging task.”

Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon in small groups to work out ideas.

The group has discussed ideas such as increasing the number of required lockdown drills at Oklahoma schools and reinstating a tip line at the state Education Department.

One challenge has been how mental health factors in, Lamb said.

“Mental health is a large variable in this equation of keeping our kids safe,” he said. “Now the question is, what's the best practice? What's the best program? What's the best mechanism to make sure we address the mental health needs of kids that have issues?”

Commissioners have been applying a three-point litmus test to recommendations, Lamb said. Would the recommendation help principals better secure buildings? What are the long-term implications? Is the recommendation practical and helpful to “those on the front lines?”

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