2.7.23 – KOCO – OKLAHOMA CITY
Legislation passed out of its first committee Tuesday morning in the state Senate aims to make Oklahoma schools safer.
Sen. Dewayne Pemberton said the bill is easy to support because it has a simple goal: to keep schools and students safe.
“I have three grandchildren and I want to make sure when they got off the bus in the morning, that they’re safe, they arrive back home every day. With some of the things taking place across the country like in Uvalde, TX, it just makes people start thinking, are we doing enough?” Pemberton said.
Pemberton laid out his reasoning behind Senate Bill 100. If it were to become law, every school district site in the state would be required to undergo a vulnerability and risk assessment within the next three years.
Following the shooting in Uvalde, several local districts told KOCO 5 they planned to make security improvements to their campuses. Pemberton believes his bill will help districts identify any weaknesses.
“It includes an onsite visit by the OSSI, the Oklahoma School Security Institute. They will come in, spend several days, go through the entire building, entrances, exits. They’ll look at infrastructure,” Pemberton said.
Pemberton said another bill will come before the committee in the coming weeks that would provide grant money for schools to make any suggested improvements.
SB 100 passed out of the Senate’s education committee unanimously Tuesday morning with 12 ‘yes’ votes. Pemberton expects similar support down the line.
“It’s safety. I mean how do you vote against the kids, so I think it’ll go smoothly,” Pemberton said.
The bill now goes to the Senate Floor before heading across the Capitol to the House. The senator expects broad support