Chickashanews.com

Opinion

February 28, 2013

Dorman looks to use bill to help students

CHICKASHA — It is the fourth week of committee work and I still have some bills up for consideration.  The Common Education Committee will have a chance to pass House Bill 2230, which amends the Bridge to Literacy program to allow for Positive Tomorrows to qualify for grant funding. Positive Tomorrows is an elementary school which only allows students who are currently homeless to attend their school.  This school, located in Oklahoma City, at one time did receive federal education dollars, but the No Child Left Behind program, implemented by the federal government, excluded them from funding.  My legislation will allow the school to continue their work with grant money which will allow them to further educate homeless students, while also providing career counseling for the parents.

I will also have bill considered by the Public Safety committee that will give local school districts the opportunity to use a comprehensive background check system to learn if school volunteers have committed crimes in the past which would not surface on a simple identity check.  House Bill 2228 creates the Protect Against Pedophiles Act to give authorization for local school districts to have the authority to do a background check on volunteers should the local school board or superintendent feel there is a need to have this information.  Oftentimes, those who have had a criminal past will move to another state and falsify their identity, but there is no way they can disguise their fingerprints.  Federal law currently prohibits schools from using this type of system unless authorized through the state bureau of investigations.  Oklahoma currently does not allow this authorization in state law, so this legislation will correct that issue.

I authored a bill similar to this last year which would have required a check on those volunteers who have access to locker rooms or go on overnight trips with students.  After it was apparent that bill would not pass, I modified the legislation to this current language at the request of some of the more conservative members of the legislature who feared this was overstepping the rights of volunteers.  We have left this completely at the discretion of the local school leadership by giving them the authorization to order the background check.  Costs will be assumed by the local school district for the background check, but they can pass those along to the volunteer, a booster club or other parties interested in covering the cost for this security measure.  There is also no requirement a school do a check on volunteers, but this simply gives them the "insurance policy" to help protect students.

I was very disappointed that my legislation to enhance school security for facilities did not receive a committee hearing.  HJR 1043, as amended, would have established the opportunity for local school districts to vote in an additional five percent above their currently bonding levels to provide funds for upgrading facilities to make them safer.  The legislation would also have allowed the hiring of school counselors and School Resource Officers (SRO’s), which are police officers stationed at the local school through these funds.  This bond would have fallen under the currently Constitutional requirement to receive a 60% vote of approval.  I will continue the fight to get this legislation passed next year, while keeping you posted on any other school safety bills which will be considered.

I was ill with sinus issues over the weekend and had to miss several great events, but I still managed to make a few.  While I missed the Chickasha Chamber Banquet and the Elgin 4-H cake auction, I sent donations which I know were appreciated.  I did get to attend the American Farmers & Ranchers annual banquet and see several friends from around the state.  I also am very thankful to the folks in Ninnekah who threw an appreciation luncheon on Friday for me for serving them the past ten years.  I lost that area from House District 65 in redistricting, but I very much appreciate them and will be happy to help out my old areas over the next two years.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Fightin' Words: Lessons from sports, even in tragedy

    This week, Americans got to hear firsthand accounts, some for the first time, of a sporting tragedy, the lessons from which are as poignant as sport itself.

    April 18, 2014

  • Weir speaks on good traffic stops do for society

    On the law enforcement side the county was fairly quiet last month. There was an incident which may not have seemed of great importance to many, but I would take exception to that.

    April 15, 2014

  • The Hero of Haarlem…For the Common Good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the eight year old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job even more important.

    April 11, 2014

  • Morning Ralph…Morning Sam…For the Common Good

    Deep in the vaults of Warner Bros. there is a series of Merrie Melodies cartoons featuring Sam the Sheepdog and Ralph E. Wolf.  It has been years since I have seen the animation; however, the tan sheepdog with the unruly mop of auburn hair and the thin brown wolf that bears an uncanny resemblance to Wile E. Coyote (except for Ralph’s red nose and Wile’s yellow eyes) are readily recalled.

    April 4, 2014

  • Fightin' Words: A right way and a wrong way to treat a college players union

    Initially the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board over Northwestern football players' ability to unionize was, at first, the start of a ticking time bomb on college sports.

    March 28, 2014

  • In New Orleans, Katrina victims live out Hollywood eco agenda

    I visited Lousiana recently to do some reporting on Sen. Mary Landrieu's bid to win a fourth term in a tough political year. But before heading to the key parishes that will determine Landrieu's fate this November, I stopped by New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward to see how rebuilding efforts are faring nearly nine years after Hurricane Katrina.

    March 25, 2014

  • BLOG: America is doing all it can to Russia

    The conservative response to President Obama's handling of the Ukraine crisis is a perfect example of what some Americans need to learn about how the world around them works now.

    March 21, 2014

  • In jam over Obamacare, Dems don't know which way to turn

    When it comes to Obamacare, many Democrats take comfort in polls showing a small majority of voters, or at least a plurality, oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act. To them, that proves the Republicans' do-away-with-it position is out of sync with voters as this November's midterm elections approach.

    March 18, 2014

  • Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo and the Common Good

    The term “Spaghetti Western” is used to describe a movie about the American West but directed and produced by Italians and normally filmed in Europe. This motion picture genre has been around for more than 70 years.  Outdoor scenes are often shot in an area of Spain that bears a striking resemblance to the Southwestern United States.

    March 14, 2014

  • Have Bazooka - will travel and the Common Good

    For seven seasons from 1957 through 1963, actor Richard Boone played a gentleman gunslinger named Paladin in the CBS television, Have Gun—Will Travel.  The storyline involved Boone’s character, a highly educated and cultured mercenary whose residence was the Hotel Carlton in wild-west era San Francisco.  Paladin’s business card intimated that he had no qualms about using his Colt .45 revolver or his single action Marlin rifle for hire, wherever his career would take him.

    March 7, 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Poll

Do you expect more businesses will develop in downtown Chickasha in the next year?

Yes
No
     View Results