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UPDATE: State leaders to begin petition drive for storm shelters in schools

EL RENO, Okla. — Protecting our kids by putting shelters in schools is the goal of a new petition drive set to kick off next week.

State leaders plan to collect signatures to get $500 million bond question put on the state ballot.

The petition is being dubbed “Take Shelter Oklahoma.”

Organizers say they want to collect more than 155,000 signatures, then it’ll be up to the people to vote on whether to put more storm shelters in schools.

“We can make sure we build better and safer schools,” said Rep. Joe Dorman, (D) Rush Springs.

Dorman says that’s why he plans to start a petition drive to fund storm shelters in schools.

“This is like insurance.  If a tornado hits a school we want to make sure we have shelters in place,” said Dorman.

“I think we all have responsibility to provide safe rooms for our kids,” said Greg Winters, with Canadian Valley Technology Center.

On May 31, Winter’s school took a direct hit from a two and half mile wide twister.

“Basically it wiped out the campus,” said Winters.

Normally 1,200 students and teachers would have been on campus, with no safe rooms in place.

After the inside walls collapsed, where students would have been hunkered down, Winters knows he’s lucky no one died at his school.

“I’ll tell you, it would have taken days to take out the bodies, if we got hit when Moore did,” said Winters.

Winters fully supports Dorman’s petition for more school shelters.

In fact, Canadian Valley plans to rebuild starting next year, this time with shelters in place.

“If we take our job seriously as citizens, we ought to provide the safest places we can for our young people,” said Winters.

Officials will have 90 days to collect the signatures they need.

NewsChannel 4’s Kevin Ogle spoke with Joe Dorman today. Here is that interview: