Concerns Raised Over Oklahoma Schools Preparedness For Active Shooter Situations
TULSA, Oklahoma - Members of the State Board of Education are voicing their concerns about whether Oklahoma schools are ready for an active shooter situation.
The Board met last night and some raised questions about the lack of state-wide requirements. For the most part, safety measures are in the hands of each district
There are no state requirements when it comes to equipment, like security cameras and there are not very many protocols when it comes to safety drills either.
But Jenks Public Schools says it should come down to the local districts taking action and preparing for the worst threats.
"The unfortunate reality for us is that we live in a pretty scary world. And we've seen examples of that, you know, repeatedly," said Jenks Director of Communications Rob Loeber.
Examples like Friday at an Indiana middle school where three people were shot. And just last Friday in Texas when 10 people were killed and 13 hurt after a young man opened fire.
"Once every couple of years we like to have a larger exercise where we join forces with local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, EMSA, homeland security," said Loeber.
Commander Jayson Jackson of the Jenks Police Department says the exercises help decision-makers work out the kinks.
The State Department of Education requires each district to have four security drills, and six safety drills two for fires, two for tornados, and two of their choice. But there isn't much guidance other than timeline requirements.
While some board members think more should be outlined the Department of Education says quote:
"It is a local decision to come up with a plan that will work best within their building, within their community, and with their first responders."
The state does require each district to have security plans on file reviewed and updated every year. There are also regional accreditation officers who go to schools and check on safety measures, but the department of education says manpower is always an issue.