Sand Springs Steps Up School Security

The Sand Springs School District is working to improve school security by minimizing and monitoring building entries.

Charles Page High School and others in the district are gaining lock-down doors in the school's interior. School leaders can press a panic button and the doors will close, separating students from an intruder in the entryway.

"We can isolate that part of the building, get all of the students and our staff behind our secured doors and isolate the problem long enough for law enforcement to get here," said Charles Page High School Principal Stan Trout.

District architect Jeanie Kvach said that emergency response time is likely three minutes. She said the lock-down doors could not be broken with a baseball bat. She said a bullet could penetrate the glass but not shatter it.

Kvach said two schools in the district already have single entry access. She said this fall, the others will create one main entry to monitor, though not all will get the lock-down doors. The plan to minimize entry points for the visitors means teachers will gain key access to other doors for things like recess.

Kvach said the security changes cost less than $200,000. The money came from a bond and a federal grant. She said the upped monitoring is a reaction to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last winter. Both Trout and Kvach commented on the number of parents that have asked for upped security measures at the schools in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

There was a January gun threat rumor at Clyde Boyd Middle School in Sand Springs that led to many parents pulling their children from school for the day.

"Panic, overreaction, but it's a case, I guess, of parents wanting to be safe rather than sorry," said retired teacher and coach Archie Loehr of that threat. He said during his 40 years teaching he never feared for his own or others' safety. However, he said he thinks limiting building access will help comfort parents. He has two grandchildren in Sand Springs Public Schools.

"We feel better about our school safety at this point," Trout said. In the last year, Charles Page High School has added a security officer and added five more security cameras.

Classes will resume August 20th.