Officials at Bartlesville Public Schools closed school on Wednesday, following a credible threat near the high school.
It comes less than a week after police arrested 18-year-old, Sammie Chavez after classmates at Bartlesville High School told the assistant principal that Chavez threatened to kill them.
Then on Tuesday around 4:00 a person told police they saw two people near the Pathfinder Parkway and they believe they were carrying rifles. The pathway sits just 500 yards away from the high schools. That’s why parents like Warren Collier are hugging their children a little tighter now.
"I didn't want to go to school with their being a person with a gun at the school,” says Warren Collier Junior.
Officers checked the area and found evidence that someone had been duck hunting, but they aren’t positive it’s the same people. Surveillance video shows a white Chevy suburban parked at the school believed to belong to the two men. Officers say it is illegal to shoot a gun in the city limits, and that’s one reason they are son concerned.
Following the arrest of Chavez last week and the shooting deaths of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut, Warren Junior says he has a plan if ever confronted by a gunman.
"To act like I'm dead and not move or anything,” he says.
His father can’t imagine living without his son, and says there’s a better way to keep a gunman at bay.
"I think it's a good idea to arm our teachers, because this has happened many times in the past,” says Collier.
Bartlesville Public Schools does not have a campus police department, but does have one school resource officer for 6,000 children.
"I don't ever want to get a phone call at home that says hey this has happened with what happened in Connecticut it's now happened in Bartlesville,” says Collier.
Over winter break, the Bartlesville Police Department will be examining all of the schools to find out how they can make them safer. Classes will resume January 2nd. There is a tip line set up for Bartlesville students if they see or hear anything suspicious. They can call 918-336-2583 or text 274637. Just start your message with BPSTIP.
Here is what the BPS website said early Wednesday morning:
Due to credible reports of a threat at the high school, all Bartlesville Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, December 19. In light of the ongoing police investigation, we will be unable to provide details at this time. We expect the situation to be stabilized by the time students are scheduled to return to school on January 2, 2013. During the Winter Break we will be working with the local police department to evaluate current security at all sites and determine recommendations for the safety of our students.
There will be a brief press conference held tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 10 a.m. At that time, the Bartlesville Public School District will release a brief statement.Parents in the district forwarded FOX23 this note that was sent from the BPS Superintendent:
Dear BPSD Parents and Patrons,
Due to credible reports of a threat at the High School, all schools in the Bartlesville Public School District will be closed on Wednesday, December 19.
In light of the ongoing the police investigation, we will not be able to provide additional details at this time.
We expect the situation to be stabilized by the time students are scheduled to return to school on January 2, 2013.
During the break, we will be working together with the local police department to evaluate current security at all sites and provide recommendations for the safety of our students.
Dr. Gary W. Quinn
Officials have also postponed Friday's scheduled basketball game.