Oklahoma Supreme Court to hear “Take Shelter Oklahoma” ballot initiative
MOORE, Okla. – A unique decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court has the fate of school storm shelters in the balance.
All justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court have decided to hear the legal battle between “Take Shelter Oklahoma” and Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
It’s something that happens in less than 20 percent of cases in Oklahoma.
Alongside “Take Shelter Oklahoma” are the mothers of students who died inside Plaza Towers Elementary on May 20.
They want to see a storm shelter in every school across the state.
Danni Legg, who lost her son Christopher, says, “We know our children are unsafe. It was proven May 20. And this is not a moot point.”
“Take Shelter Oklahoma” says it wants to use the state’s franchise tax money to fund the storm shelters.
However, that’s where the alleged fight with the Oklahoma Attorney General took place.
In October, the group says Pruitt made changes to their ballot initiative.
They say Pruitt was motivated by a relationship with the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, who they claim wants to see the franchise tax eliminated.
The group says Pruitt’s wording emphasizes the tax money and downplays the shelters.
David Slane, a local attorney, says, “Ordinary people wrote that ballot title so that it could be heard and voted on by ordinary people.”
The Moore parents and their attorney were shocked to learn the Oklahoma Supreme Court was interested in hearing the case.
They think it might be because the high court takes the issue of building safer schools seriously.
“We’re going to make our very best argument before the full court,” says Slane. “I feel very positive that the court will give us a fair shake and hear our side.”
Mikki Davis, who lost her son Kyle, says, “I wish you the best of luck because you’re fighting up against these angel parents. So, good luck with that.”
In a statement from Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office, he says, “The court has shown an increasing willingness to hear oral argument and we look forward to presenting our case.”
Oral arguments begin on Tuesday, Feb. 25.