Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb Briefs Parents On New School Security Commission

Friday, January 18th 2013, 6:54 pm
By: Emory Bryan

School security is on the minds of many parents and it's a likely topic of this year's state legislature.

A new commission on school security meets next week, setting up a debate over priorities for security and teachers.

A dollar spent on a security guard is a dollar not spent on teachers, so the challenge ahead for lawmakers is to do what's right for both.

A group made up largely of parents met in Jenks to talk about education issues.

The Lieutenant Governor was there to talk about his new role heading a new state commission on school security.

"This commission will talk about armed guards, this commission will talk about armed teachers. This commission will talk about funding to some degree, where it needs to be prioritized. We'll talk about bullying, we'll talk about mental health," said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

12/17/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police, Tulsa Public Schools To Step Up School Security

The commission was formed after the Sandy Hook murders, with a deadline to make recommendations the legislature can consider this spring.

Lawmakers gathered for the meeting didn't hear much about security, because the parents wanted to focus on too much testing and too little funding.

"Money is a huge issue at our school," said Tulsa parent Lori Cramton. Because of spacing, staffing, we don't have enough teachers to teach them our specials and the things they need. Our classroom teachers and staff are wonderful, we just need more of them."

The group has grown out of a parent's frustration into a lobbying group for parents.

Melissa Abdo is the group's leader and an incoming member of the Jenks school board.

She's worried school safety issues and funding boil down to the same issues.

"The more kids in the class, the less individual attention the teacher is able to give the student, and there's a direct correlation between that and the safety of the students," Abdo said.

The school security commission meets for the first time next Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

It has 22 members from all over the state, including parents, teachers and police, lending a variety of voices on school security.