Caney Valley Public School plans to beef up security
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL World Correspondent
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
1/01/13 at 6:10 AM
RAMONA - Caney Valley Public School Superintendent Rick Peters is spending his two-week Christmas break meeting with community leaders and law enforcement officers in order to beef up the school's security after two students were arrested in December in connection with threats directed at the school.
The two boys, ages 12 and 13, were taken into custody on Dec. 20 on complaints of making terroristic threats.
Because of the threats, the school district dismissed classes early and will resume them on Jan. 7. The students were accused of plotting to harm their classmates. Since the boys are juveniles, their names have not been released.
"There were no concrete plans other than talk," Peters said about the threats. He said there has been no discussion on whether to expel the students. The situation will be addressed at a later date, he said.
After the Newtown, Conn., school shootings but prior to the Caney Valley school incident, Peters met with community leaders and law enforcement officers to better address safety issues at both the elementary and high school campuses.
"If we do reduce the risk, that is a positive improvement in the school," Peters said. There are 765 students in prekindergarten classes through the 12th grade. The elementary school campus is located in Ochelata, while the middle school and high school campus is located in Ramona.
With the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six faculty members died, as well as the arrest in Bartlesville of an 18-year-old student, Sammie Chavez, who allegedly threatened to kill many of his classmates there, Peters wants to step up the level of protection for his school district.
"We want to hire a school resource officer," Peters said.
The hiring of an officer for the school would have to be approved by the community's leaders and the school board, he said.
"I'm not sure what the cost would be to hire a school resource officer," Peters said.
The added expenses are just one of the many factors that go into making the decision, he said.
Some of the changes already in place are installing a lock on the front door and a large window of the elementary school building where the staff can visually monitor visitors wanting in and allowing them entrance after the staff activates a buzzer, Peters said.
On the high school campus, plans are to reduce the number of entrances into the building to increase safety, Peters said.
The Washington County Sheriff's Department referred all questions to the Ramona Police Department. Messages left with the Washington County District Attorney's Office and the Ramona Police Department on Monday were not returned.
Original Print Headline: School district plans to beef up security