Caney Valley Schools beef up security in wake of threats and tragedy

RAMONA, Okla. - Caney Valley Public Schools are beefing up security in time for the return from winter break.

Before students and staff took some time away for the holidays, Ramona police arrested two 13-year-old students for making terroristic threats.

District leaders say by Monday a police officer will be patrolling the high school and middle school building in Ramona and the elementary school in Ochelata.

"Security is a paramount, paramount issue for our students and staff and that's our number one priority," said Caney Valley Superintendent Rick Peters.

The small district has two campuses and about 800 students, but their small town feel doesn't guarantee safety.

"There's no school district in the United States that is exempt from what happened in Connecticut," said Peters.  
Dustin Haberly is a recent graduate of the high school, he says when he was in school, security was not at the top of his mind.

"It was pretty laid back, because everything was simple and people knew to do the right thing," said Haberly.

He said he was shocked when he heard about the threats made by two 13-year-olds just a couple of weeks ago.

"It's something that you hear about at a big school -- 6A or college even -- but not here," said Haberly.

"We take all threats seriously," said Peters.

Plans to add a school resource officer are just the beginning of improving security at the campuses.

"Putting some fencing up at the elementary school, changing some doors, locking some of the exterior access doors at the high school, it might make it inconvenient for our students staff and patrons but nevertheless it's for safety," said Peters.

It's been a team effort put into motion right after the Connecticut tragedy.

"We've been working with law enforcement, the county and local Ramona PD before the incident happened here at our school," said Peters.

The effort is appreciated.

"Increased security is good, my little brother is actually in the 7th grade there and the increased security would be great," said Haberly.

According to Peters, the school resource officer won't have a set schedule but will split time evenly between the district's two campuses.

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