The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Tax free starts today

    A few years ago, Oklahoma shoppers were getting used to driving south to take advantage of Texas’ tax-free weekend. The outlet mall on Interstate 35 near Gainesville was packed with as many Oklahoma tagged cars as those from Texas....

    August 1, 2014

  • Just wondering about things

    Editor, The Transcript: Why are our companies still investing so much in China, now that they own over a trillion dollars of our debt? Why is China pouring billions into their military and threatening many of their neighbors? Why don’t we ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Top conservatives, liberals

    Three local lawmakers made the lists of top 10 conservatives and top 10 liberals in the Oklahoma Constitution’s 2014 Conservative Index. Editor Steve Byas reported that it’s the 36th year for the publication’s index....

    August 1, 2014

  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014