The Norman Transcript

Editorials

December 17, 2013

School bond issuetargets safety, security

NORMAN — If it passes the Norman school district’s proposed $126 million bond issue, called for Feb. 11, will devote more than $17 million to safety and security. The projects include both weather- and intruder-related protections for our students, faculty and staff.

Education reporter Katherine Parker outlined those projects in a Saturday Transcript story. It was published as school officials and parents in Newtown, Con. marked the first anniversary of the mass shooting there.

Tragically, another school shooting took place Friday and shared the front pages of U.S. newspapers with the anniversary memorials.

Proposed are secure vestibules at Norman schools that are not now so equipped. The projects will restrict a visitor from entry to the classroom or office area without being approved by a staff member. Included this year are entry projects at Norman High, Alcott, Longfellow, Cleveland, Eisenhower, Jackson, Kennedy, Monroe and Wilson.

As designed, the vestibule projects will give teachers and administrators with more time to take safety lockdown procedures in the event of an intruder that intends to do harm.

“There is only a small amount of time an intruder can act before a school and law enforcement reacts,” Superintendent Joe Siano said. “The more obstacles that you create, like secure entryways and enclosed classrooms, the more time you give school officials to protect themselves and students.”

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