Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
Gov. Mary Fallin signed four bills into law Tuesday designed to improve school security and keep Oklahoma children safe. She was joined at a public bill signing by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who served as chairman of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, other commissioners and legislative leaders.
“The state of Oklahoma has a duty to do everything we can to keep our children safe,” Fallin said. “The bills signed into law today will ensure that schools are well prepared for emergencies of all kinds. They’ll also help to provide more training and better coordination between law enforcement and education professionals. These measures could help to save lives. My thanks go out to Lt. Gov. Lamb, the Legislature, and all the members of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security who worked to develop this legislation and send it to my desk.”
The bills signed Tuesday afternoon by Fallin included:
• SB 256, requiring school districts to conduct lockdown drills in addition to fire, intruder and tornado emergency drill
• SB 257, directing the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security to designate a division within the agency as the Oklahoma School Security Institute. The Institute would act as a central hub of information and resources related to school security and risk assessments to campuses. Objectives and goals of the Institute include: maximization of school security and training; implementation of safety drills and facilitation of information related to school safety.
• SB 258, creating an annual deadline of Nov. 1 for institutions of higher learning to provide reports to emergency responders and agencies with details of updated plans for protecting students, faculty and visitors from disasters and emergencies.
• SB 259, requiring school authorities to immediately report to law enforcement if a firearm is discovered on a student that is not a minor or an adult that isn’t authorized to possess a firearm on school property. Also, the bill dictates the weapon in question to be delivered to law enforcement.
“I thank the governor for her signatures on these bills which stemmed from the recommendations from the Oklahoma Commission on School Security,” Lamb said. “I thank the members of the commission that came from all across Oklahoma and sacrificed their time and provided expertise. The primary goal of any government is to protect its people. These bills will do just that.”