Local Oklahoma superintendents respond to new school safety laws

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

BRYAN COUNTY, OKLAHOMA -- Four new laws are requiring Oklahoma schools to implement enhanced safety measures -- that some local districts say are redundant.

"Those are things that we've really always done," Durant ISD Superintendent Jason Simeroth said.

The bills -- signed into law Tuesday by Governor Mary Fallin -- will require schools to run intruder drills, report firearms found on campus and share their emergency plans with local law enforcement.

"The only change is we haven't had is intruder drills," Colbert Public Schools Superintendent Jarvis Dobbs said.

Both Durant and Colbert superintendents say they already work with responders in their area to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

"They have CDs of all our floor plans, of all our schools," Simeroth said.

"We have a police officer full-time, on staff, CLEET certified. He carries the gun, the mace," Dobbs said.

District 17 Superintendent of the Year Jarvis Dobbs says the most helpful school safety measure to come from the new laws is the creation of the Oklahoma School Security Institute -- a new organization operated under the state Office of Homeland Security.

The OSSI is charged with investigating and monitoring the level of safety at Oklahoma schools.

"They can be a help. I mean, if you get somebody that's trained to come out and look over your school and say, 'Okay, this is where you need to focus,'" Dobbs said.

Even some Colbert High School students, like Cade Carter, say they understand and appreciate these new laws.

"All of our teachers have explained to us the new measures, you know, what we're going to be doing," Carter said.


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