Pawhuska parents voice concern after volunteering police escorted off campus

Posted at 5:28 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 04:46:13-05

PAWHUSKA, Okla. -- Pawhuska Police volunteered a few officers earlier this week to be present on campus.

Parents tell us they were concerned after hearing these officers were asked to leave. They say without a school resource team, this area is vulnerable.

Some families spoke out during Monday's school board meeting after seeing officers on campus. They tell 2 Works for you they were relieved, and disappointed when those officers stopped visiting classrooms by the end of the week.

"We're failing our children. We're seriously failing our children if we don't have safety in place," parent Jane Toland said.

Pawhuska's city manager did not want to go on camera, but said these officers were intruding on family property. One grandmother said right now, families are looking for piece of mind.

"Somebody could walk into the school with that type of weapon and just willy nilly start shooting at people and of course I love my granddaughter and safety is my concern for her," Cynthia Boone said.

Following the recent school shooting, families want more police near schools. Staff with the city said right now officers can only visit a campus if they're called on by administration. Others said it wasn't always this way.

"The police officers were allowed to be in the school system when the Connecticut school became targeted. But at that time we had a different superintendent," Boone said.

Parents said officers on campus aren't just there for life or death reasons. They also play a key role in daily issues like bullying.

"So these kids feel safe and go "okay, here's a safe person I can go talk to them"... and not worry about the consequences of talking to them," Toland said.

The district has been looking at day-to-day safety options, like school resource officers, but they won't have an official plan until next week.

The city manager is meeting with the superintendent Friday to prepare for next week when they'll be meeting with other agencies to create an emergency action plan

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