Jenks, Tulsa, Broken Arrow Public Schools superintendents speak out after elementary shooting

JENKS, Okla. - Jenks Public Schools officials say they have increased security at their campuses Friday after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school Friday morning.

Tulsa Public Schools has no plans for more security, but believes the day's tragedy could help improve safety standards for the district.

"It is our duty, it is our mandate, it is our calling to protect the most innocent people there are and that's children," said Gary Rudick, TPS chief of police.

Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall also spoke about the shooting Friday.

"...I will not be so foolish as to tell you this could never happen in Broken Arrow," Mendenhall said in a letter to the BA community on the school's website. "I pray that we never experience such a tragedy in our community, and I am committed to working with parents, students, law enforcement officials, and others to protect our greatest treasure: our children."

The Bartlesville community experienced a near-tragedy themselves Friday when a high school boy was arrested for threats against the student body.

READ: Bartlesville student arrested for school shooting, bombing plans (

According to a Bartlesville police report, 18-year-old Sammy Chavez tried to recruit other students to help him "lure students into the school auditorium where he was planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut."

In response to the Connecticut shooting, Jenks Public Schools released the following statements from administrators in the district, saying their No. 1 priority is the safety of their students and staff.

"Staff Members:

There has been a school shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. In response, we are asking you to be extremely vigilant in following our established safety policies and procedures. Additionally, there will an increased police presence at our campuses. Remember, if you see something, say something. As always, our first priority is the safety of our students, staff, and patrons.

We expect the school day to continue as usual.  However, because we have already received calls and we understand the concern of parents, the following PowerAnnouncement was sent to all parents by Dr. Lehman:

This is Kirby Lehman, superintendent of Jenks Public Schools. In response to today's events in Newtown, Connecticut, we are taking a moment to reassure our parents of the safety procedures we have in place in Jenks Public Schools. We will have an increased presence of Campus police at our school campuses. All Jenks Public Schools have routine drills to prepare staff and students for emergencies. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the community of Newtown, Connecticut."




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