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Opinion

January 11, 2013

School safety remains a state and local issue

NORMAN — Local and state task forces are taking a look at school security after the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy. It’s a national issue but one that will likely be addressed at the local and state level.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will head up a 22-member, bipartisan state task force. He’s a former U.S. Service Service Agent and state senator. That committee will meet Jan. 22 and expects to make recommendations to the legislature before the end of the session in May.

Two of the state committee members are local residents. Darry Stacy, a former Norman police officer and school board member and now a county commissioner, joins Jerry McConnell, director of facility operations for the Moore Norman Technology Center, on the panel.

A committee set up after the shootings by Norman School Superintendent Joe Siano is reviewing the district’s policies and training as well as the school facilities. He told The Transcript that he expected the committee to begin its review of facilities within the next week.

Most school bond issues passed since the Columbine school shootings have addressed security issues. Norman’s most recent bond issue included several projects that make schools more secure.

At the state level, there are school, law enforcement, homeland security, behavioral health professionals and prosecutors. The only categories that seems to be missing on both committees are students and parents. Their perspective and voice could add much to the discussion.

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