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Full Senate next stop for school safety measure

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure to make Oklahoma schools safer is on its way to the Senate floor after receiving unanimous approval by the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday. Senate Bill 100, by Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, was the result of recommendations made by the bipartisan School Safety Working Group, of which Pemberton was named chair by Senate Pro Tempore Greg Treat last fall.

“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.”

SB 100 would require each school district to undergo a risk and vulnerability assessment by the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI) by July 1, 2026. Any district that has already undergone an assessment in the last two years would be exempt. Re-assessments would be conducted every five years.

Pemberton explained that OSSI currently has only six employees and is asking for ten additional staff members to conduct the assessments over the next three years. The agency estimated that it will cost approximately $1.4 million per year to conduct the assessments.  

Co-authored by Rep. Dick Lowe, R-Amber, the measure will next be considered by the full Senate.

The OSSI was created following recommendations by the Oklahoma Commission on School Security in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.


For more information, contact:  Sen. Pemberton: (405) 521-5533 or