Parent says students are at a disadvantage because school can't afford private security

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Reported by: MirandaChristian
Updated: 3/01/2013 11:55 am Published: 2/27/2013 10:07 pm

An armed guard will patrol Eliot Elementary.

The guard was hired through a $10,000 donation, but now parents at other Tulsa Public Schools tell us, their kids are at a disadvantage, because they can't afford to hire private security.

Guns and kids don't mix according to Amy Anderson.

"These are our babies," said Amy Anderson.

Anderson’s son attends Eliot Elementary. The school sits in a quiet midtown neighborhood. It’s a little more than two miles away from Marshall Elementary, but the two schools might as well be a world apart.

"It kind of makes me uncomfortable when my son is out here at school,” said Rajiv Nyambura.

Nyambura son attends school at Marshall. Students depend on basic TPS security measures for safety: visitors have to be let in through magnetic doors; the latest move by the district.

"You are safe at school no matter what,” said Anderson.

A private donation of $10,000 allowed Eliot to hire an armed security guard.

"$10,000 will actually buy 10 laptop computers," said Anderson.

Plenty of parents at Eliot don't like her opinion.

On Facebook, parent Amy Lara Tidwell writes: "apparently we should throw 10 new laptops at the bad guys instead of spending $10,000 on security.”

“These people are certified. They can take care of the school environment," said Nyambura.

"The kids at other schools might not have the affluence that we have at Eliot to raise $10,000," said Anderson.

Many kids living near Marshall live in poverty, and they're surrounded by crime.

"I worry every day, I worry what might happen," said Nyambura.

He also wonders if a sizable donation will ever support Marshall.

TPS agreed to accept a $10,000 donation to hire the guard and held meetings to discuss the situation with parents. But Anderson called those “perfunctory measures”, saying the meetings were only held after she and other parents questioned the announced decision of hiring a guard.

“The position statements from the various national education and health agencies which I provided to Ms. Metcalf were not shared with other parents,” said Anderson. “Nor were any resources given to us about how having an armed guard would make Eliot safer.”

On Facebook, Jennifer Swanson Maricle writes: "the opportunities for discussing the safety of our children were numerous."

"Guns do not belong in elementary schools," said Anderson.

TPS would not share numbers on specific incidents by school. They said it could be misconstrued. TPS also said the number of cases does not reflect how severe things are.

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