Classes resumed in Bartlesville Public Schools Wednesday. While students were on winter break, school administrators worked with law enforcement and security experts to increase school safety.
"I think it's a normal day and that's what we hoped it to be. It's what we expected it to be," said Superintendent of Bartlesville Public Schools Gary Quinn.
Quinn explained how a hired security expert, police, firefighters, emergency management officers, and other officials poured over Bartlesville Mid-High and High School. Police also evaluated the grade schools. Quinn said each school is using these recommendations to make changes.
"In all of our schools today, if you were there, you would see an off-duty policeman who's in uniform, paid to be there," said Quinn. The district has hired officers to patrol school grounds for a few weeks, at a rate of roughly $1,600 a day.
The schools are continuing to enforce controlled entrances. Some schools are purchasing more security cameras. Others have already ordered new thumb locks for classroom doors.
"I think it'll make a big change," said former high school student Joseph Johnson. He transferred out of the district over winter break.
Bartlesville Police told Channel 8 they are reviewing emergency responses to school crises.
All of this comes after the district closed for break a day early, after a resident reportedly saw a gun on school grounds.
Even before that, a Bartlesville High School student was arrested for allegedly planning a school shooting. Sammie Chavez is still in custody on a $1 million bond.
Johnson told Channel 8 he believed Chavez was a victim of bullying. Bartlesville Police said they do not have record of that. Captain Jay Hastings said police have not made any arrests for the alleged gun sighting.
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