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April 17, 2013

Four school security bills signed into law

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma’s public schools will add lockdown drills to their emergency-preparation tests. Gov. Mary Fallin signed four school safety bills into law on Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who was chairman of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, was one of several dignitaries at the public bill signing. The bills arose from the panel’s work.

Morrison science teacher Tammy Will was a member of the panel.

“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.”

The bills signed Tuesday 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.


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