Mayo Elementary reassures parents about school safety


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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 12/17/2012 5:13 pm Published: 12/17/2012 3:56 pm


Officials in Tulsa say they’ll step up the police presence at schools this week, following a deadly shooting in Connecticut. Tulsa Public Schools has roughly 42,000 students at 88 different campuses.

Mayo Elementary Principal Kenneth Joslin sent out a letter to the Mayo family addressing what measures his school is taking to keep its students safe. In it, he talks about all doors now being locked at the building. There used to be one open to allow teachers to come in from the playground. Also, he recently met with the captain of the TPD SWAT team and spoke in the letter about the importance of having an alternate plan in an active shooter situation.

Dani Bormann is the parent of two children at Mayo. She loves this school, but her heart is grieving.

"It was pretty tough just thinking that could have been my kid, and this could happen anywhere and thank goodness it wasn't here,” she says.

Following Friday’s shooting in Connecticut that took the lives of 20 elementary students and six adults, the Tulsa Police Department will now be sending an officer to each school to speak with the staff about any concerns they may have.

"The people who work in the buildings are really truly heroes in this process. They are the ones we need to listen very carefully to about any fears that they might have,” says TPS Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard.

As administrators work to beef up security, parents gently talk to their children about what happened.

"He noticed all of the flags flying at half-staff and wanted to know why, and so we broadly just said, this is why flags fly at half staff,” says Bormann.

At an early morning assembly, Principal Joslin was overcome with emotion thinking about his students at Mayo.

"As soon as I finished I had to exit left stage and I went outside and cried like a baby, because it really hit home today when you're standing in an assembly with 300 kids and you're looking at them,” he says.

To report any type of potential threat at your child’s school, you can log onto www.tulsaschools.org and click on the school safety box on the right side.

Mayo says it will be holding another safety drill right after Christmas break. The school also has 36 cameras stationed in and around the property. Right now, TPS says it’s not looking at metal detectors, but rather says a well-trained teacher who develops relationships with students is the best use of resources to prevent a further tragedy.

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