School districts across Green Country to ramp up school safety measures ahead of first day of school

TULSA, Okla. — Green Country students will see new safety measures as they head back to the classroom in less than two weeks. After the mass shooting in Uvalde that claimed 21 lives, safety is at the forefront for many families.

Owasso School District Director for Safety and Security, Paul Croft, said his position is fairly new and has focused on safety improvements the past two years.

“At Owasso, we’re fortunate we just passed a bond and in that bond we had stuff for security and some of the things that are on that is access control, cameras, and updating our fire and intercoms for school,” he said.

Currently, he added, there are school resource officers connected the Owasso Police Department who go to all of the schools. Croft said they’re looking to add a third party security team so there’s a guard at every school.

Tara Thompson with Broken Arrow Public Schools said the district currently has six campus police and are looking to add two more. She said campus police Broken Arrow Police Department work closely.

Tulsa School District Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said bond money helped increase safety measures which includes double entry systems, improved and added security cameras, and shatter proof glass.

Gist said Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) has its own school police, but they also have security guards.

At Union, Director of Safety and Security Ty Wardlow said every classroom has emergency magnets on the door frame. Once teachers remove the magnets, the doors close and lock.

This summer, Union checked all exterior doors. Wardlow said they’ll be adding better signage to remind students that doors need to be closed at all times.

Wardlow said the district has 24 full-time armed security officers who mainly work at the secondary schools, but elementary has guards too. He said the guards don’t wear uniforms because he wants them to look approachable so students feel comfortable making relationships with them.

Jenks Public Schools aren’t adding any additional safety measures but said the district is always reviewing and making improvements.