The Next Stop For School Safety Measure Is The Full Senate

KANSAS CITY – Oklahoma school safety legislation has been unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now headed to the Senate floor.

Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskokgee, introduced Senate Bill 100 as the result of suggestions made by the school safety working group, whose chair Pemberton was appointed to by Senate Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, last autumn.

“It’s imperative that we assess each of our 2,059 school sites, including public and private schools and CareerTechs, to ensure these facilities are as safe as possible and that there are proper administrative protocols in place to quickly address any emergency,” Pemberton said.
“Sadly, we’re seeing more and more people suffering from untreated mental illness and misguided hostility that unfortunately often leads to innocent people getting hurt or killed. Our schools should be a peaceful sanctuary for our students and faculty, and these assessments will provide districts with guidance on how to properly secure their buildings.”

By July 1, 2026, S.B. 100 would mandate that every school district submits a risk and vulnerability assessment by the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI). Personnel from OSSI collaborate with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (ODEMHS, of which OSSI is a component) (OSDE).

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Districts that have already had assessments done within the last two years are exempt. Every five years, assessments would be performed again. According to Pemberton, OSSI now only has six personnel and needs ten more to complete the exams over the course of the following three years. The organization predicted that the assessments would cost about $1.4 million annually.

After the Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2013, the Oklahoma Commission on School Security made recommendations that led to the development of the OSSI.

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