TULSA — Tulsa Public Schools is offering clarification about a Dec. 17 lockdown at Emerson Elementary School, which the district says it didn't initially know about.
When the initial letter went out, questions and concerns were raised among parents and teachers. After two days of 2 Works for You pushing for answers, parents received a letter on the afternoon of Dec. 19 signed by Emerson Principal Diane Beckham.
The letter details the timeline of events after it was discovered a student had brought a toy gun to school.
“We became aware of this at about 12:40 p.m. and immediately implemented a lockdown and contacted our Campus Police team,” the letter reads. “The school was on lockdown for 40 minutes; the lockdown was lifted at 1:30 p.m.”
The letter goes on, “While I worked to ensure that parents and families received an update on the incident and on their children, I should have also let you know that these critical protocols were followed fully. I want to apologize if the initial message you received caused concerns or raised additional questions.”
The letter reiterates children were never in danger, but describes the school’s lockdown, after officials originally said a lockdown did not take place.
Read the full letter parents received below:
Dear Emerson families,
I know that some of you may have concerns and questions about the incident that took place earlier this week. I wanted to share a follow up message that I hope will provide clarity and address any outstanding questions.
On Monday, Dec. 17, one of our students brought a toy gun to school that some of our children may have seen. We became aware of this at about 12:40 p.m. and immediately implemented a lock-down and contacted our Campus Police team. The school was on lockdown for 40 minutes; the lockdown was lifted at 1:30 p.m. Our protocol for possible threats of this nature includes contacting Campus Police and locking the school down. While no students were in danger during this incident, we followed these protocols fully because we take student and school safety seriously and respond accordingly to potential concerns. During situations like these, your children are our focus and our priority. While I worked to ensure that parents and families received an update on the incident and on their children, I should have also let you know that these critical protocols were followed fully. I want to apologize if the initial message you received caused concerns or raised additional questions.
Our school is – and remains – a safe, supportive, and caring learning community. Our team members will continue to work diligently to make sure that each child feels secure and cared for in our school. We welcome your continued partnership and support in keeping our school safe, and I encourage you to contact me at 918-925-1320 or use our Campus Police safety hotline at 918-480-SAFE if you ever see or hear anything concerning.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
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