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Oklahoma mother creates petition for metal detectors in schools

MOORE, Okla. - A Moore parent has started a petition to better secure public schools in the area.

Mary Booker, a mom of two, started the petition after police say an armed teenager shot and killed 17 people at a Florida high school earlier this month.

"It breaks my heart, honestly, that we have to deal with it in this day and age," Booker said. "It makes me feel like I’m afraid to send my kids to school for the fear that something like this is going to happen."

Booker's petition is asking for metal detectors in all 35 schools in the Moore Public School District, armed police officers at the sites year round, and stricter check-in policies for anyone entering the schools.

So far, at least 115 people have signed it.

"When I was reading through their comments for the petition, I actually tear up little bit because they just want their kids to be safe. Their grandkids, their nephews, just kids in general. They want them to be able to go to school and see them again," she told News 4.

Moore Superintendent Dr. Robert Romines said he thinks metal detectors are a good idea; however, there is an undeniable cost factor.

"One of things district leaders and officials have to look at is the fact that we might have one campus with 100 doors, exterior doors," said Dr. Romines. "If there is a need, we typically place large ticketed items such as that on bond issues and the community really rallies around the school district. They trust what we’re doing and what we’re trying to accomplish."

Romines said school safety always tops the list of priorities. Recently, they began focus groups to hear from students on what they would like to see done.

"The thing that kept coming back, which was really shocking to me, was the mental health piece and being able to provide some type of service to our students and our parents," he told News 4. "One of the things we did was start looking at job descriptions in hiring LPC’s/social workers to come in and work with our students."

Booker said these kind of conversations are reassuring, but when it comes to ending school shootings, it can't stop there.

"Teachers shouldn’t have to go to school and think about, they have to protect these kids in literally like a combat situation," she said. "Everybody is arguing about whether it’s gun control, whether it’s mental health issues and nobody’s looking at 'we need an immediate now' to protect these schools​."