NORMAN — There is some good news coming from the Capitol. The Senate’s education committee will not take up a House-backed bill that allows trained teachers to carry handguns in classrooms.
The bill, approved in the House earlier this session, was a reaction to the shootings in Connecticut in December. The House author, Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, rationalized that having an armed teacher would have provided protection against an attack like the Connecticut shootings that killed 20 children and six adults.
Another reaction was the formation of the Oklahoma Commission on School Safety. That group, headed by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, included experts on school safety, mental health, law enforcement, parents and first responders, did not endorse the legislation.
Education officials said putting more guns in schools is not the answer. The commission’s recommendations include a new security hotline, better mental health training for educators and a new state institute that focuses on student safety.