The Norman Transcript


December 27, 2012

Task force looks at security, mental health

NORMAN — The notion of placing armed guards in every school in the nation strikes fear in the minds of many educators. We’ve heard from a few who say more guns on campuses is not the answer.

But all say there is a need for more secure schools and a greater emphasis on mental health. Oklahoma lawmakers will come together on the issue. Leaders of both parties announced formation of a task force that will examine how to make Oklahoma schools the nation’s safest.

That makes sense since schools are mostly a function of state and local governments. The federal role, although growing, has historically been limited.

The Newtown, Conn., massacre of 20 children and six adults Dec. 14 has started the national conversation. Norman schools began an immediate review of its security procedures. Building projects approved in the past decade have included a renewed emphasis on student and faculty security.

Besides safety and security, state officials plan to look at mental health issues as well. Gov. Mary Fallin has indicated a willingness to address mental health. State, in-patient mental health facilities have closed or scaled down in the past two decades, leaving community mental health centers carrying a bigger load.

The state’s task force will include non-legislator experts on education, law enforcement and mental health. It will be lead by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a former U.S. Secret Service agent.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014