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OKLAHOMA: Lawmakers push for more school security, increased number of counselors

Sept 27, 2018, Woodward (OK) News: School violence study: Schools need more counselors, tip lines http://www.woodwardnews.net/news/school-violence-study-schools-need-more-counselors-tip-lines/article_6bb7620a-f8b7-571b-bd6d-65e2c41034d1.html Schools statewide need more mental health counselors and officials should increase their use of student resource officers and add text tip lines to ensure they’re better protected against violent threats in public schools, officials told lawmakers Wednesday…. House lawmakers held an interim study Wednesday at the Capitol to probe the safety and security issue in Oklahoma’s public schools and what it could cost districts or the Legislature to make classrooms safer. … “There’s no reason that law enforcement should not be training on an annual basis with the schools … so that they’re familiar with the building,” he said. Others ideas include two doors to every classroom, installing active shooter alert systems and metal detectors and requiring all schools to undergo a threat assessment to better prepare, he said. Schools should also find a way to increase the number of counselors and train them to identify indicators linked to violence, he said. … Milner said the district is in the process of phasing in panic buttons for school personnel over the next few months. Those will be installed on employee cell phones, he said. … Kim Carter, director of Oklahoma’s Office of Homeland Security, said school security is a very complicated issue. In 2013, lawmakers updated school security laws by approving mental health first aid training, requiring school intruder drills, mandating that firearms confiscated at school be reported to local law enforcement and requiring the creation of a school security tip line, he said. …