Student and School Safety
Every student deserves a safe environment where they can learn, thrive, and succeed. Tulsa Public Schools maintains highly-trained campus security and police teams to protect our students, teachers, and visitors and prevent emergencies before they arise.
SEE. HEAR. SHARE.
You can help keep your school community safe. If you see or hear something concerning, call 918-480-SAFE (7233) or share with a trusted adult.
- HOW DOES TPS RESPOND IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY?
- What is the process for lockdowns and intruder alerts?
- IF A SCHOOL IS EVACUATED, HOW WILL I KNOW WHERE TO PICK UP MY CHILD?
- SHOULD I PICK UP MY CHILD AT SCHOOL DURING AN EMERGENCY?
- WHERE WILL I GET ACCURATE INFORMATION DURING AN EMERGENCY?
- WHAT CAN I DO TO BE BEST PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES?
When the district determines an emergency has occurred, three possible plans of action occur:
1. Go home plan: students return to their homes as quickly and safely as possible. Each school maintains information for emergency contacts for each child.
It is critical that parents and legal guardians advise the school office staff every time emergency contact information changes.
2. Shelter-in-place plan: students stay in their buildings. Typically, inside sheltering is considered a short-term solution. Specific areas of each building are identified as safety zones.
Students in school buildings who are not in classrooms will be escorted by staff to a supervised area and remain there until otherwise notified. No one will be allowed to enter or leave the school for any reason.
3. Evacuation plan: requires that all building occupants exit the building and go to a previously-identified, safe alternate location. Evacuation may mean only going outside and away from the building until an all-clear signal is given. In some circumstances, students and staff may need to be transported and housed temporarily in another location.
- What are the categories of lock-downs and intruder alerts?
- Intruder alert: there is an active threat inside the school. It may or may not involve a weapon.
- Lock-down (full): there is a direct threat to the school or to students or faculty outside the school.
- Modified lock-down: there is an indirect threat in the vicinity of the school (e.g., reports of gunshots in area, or a police pursuit that is nearby or may be headed in the direction of the school). Modified lock-downs are by far the most common occurrence.
- Who determines when a school goes on lock-down?
- Any administrative personnel or law enforcement officer can put a school on intruder alert or lock-down if they believe there is a threat.
- What area is affected by the lock-down?
- The area of a lock-down is determined by the type of incident and its severity. The Tulsa Police Department or Campus Police will determine the possible area of threat and designate the area accordingly.
- What are the immediate actions for each category taken by the school?
- Modified lock-down: All students are brought inside, all exterior doors are locked and no one is allowed in or out of the building except at the discretion of law enforcement or the principal. Officers may be deployed to the site as a precaution.
Lock-down: All students are brought inside, all exterior doors are locked, no one is allowed in or out and all students in the building are moved away from windows or where they might be visible from the outside. Campus Police officers will be deployed to the school.
Intruder alert: Teachers may exercise several options to protect their students; these options are outlined in the Safe School Plan and in the Classroom Emergency Handbooks. Officers will take active response measures under standard law enforcement protocols.
- Are parents notified when a lock-down or intruder alert is called?
Parent notifications are made at the discretion of the principal and will be made as soon as possible through the school's social media sites, SchoolWay feed, and by email. However, in most cases, a notification may not be made immediately during the event as school teams are focused on keeping children actively protected.
Please do not come to the school to pick your child up during a lock-down or intruder alert. We understand that you want to check on your child's safety, but coming to the school during a critical incident may interfere with our ability to respond to the threat and keep our campus secure.
Many lock-downs, especially modified lock-downs (the most common kind), may be over in minutes. The police may move out of the neighborhood or quickly determine there is no threat.
Most modified lock-downs are over within minutes. An intruder alert, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on the threat level. There are no guidelines as to the length of time.
In the event students must be moved to an alternate location, the school will use a number of communications tools including phone, email, social media, and news media to attempt to advise all parents of the alternate location.
Each school has several alternative locations that may be used depending upon the severity of the emergency and the number of school buildings involved. Police, fire, and county and state authorities are aware of the alternate locations for each school.
In the event of an emergency, schools will communicate with parents through the following channels:
Schools may contact you directly; this is why it is important for your school to have updated emergency contact information for your child.
It is every guardian’s natural instinct to go to the school during an emergency, but doing so may interfere with the school’s ability to effectively and efficiently respond to the situation. We strongly encourage parents to not come to the school during an emergency unless and until directed by the district to do so. In most cases, school district administration and district and local emergency responders are the only individuals allowed to enter or leave the school campus or building during emergencies.
The district will use every communications method available to keep parents up-to-date during an emergency. These include:
- District smartphone app SchoolWay;
- TPS web site (updates are posted on the home page);
- SchoolConnects (a recorded phone message may be sent to each household if time allows);
- Local news media (be sure to listen carefully for official announcements from TPS); or
- Schools may contact you directly; this is why it is important for your school to have updated emergency contact information for your child.
- Make sure your child's school has the most accurate emergency contact information on file.
- Talk to your child about the importance of following directions and listening to school staff during an emergency.
- Monitor the district communications methods mentioned above.
- Make sure you and your family have a personal disaster plan. Visit the following links for additional resources on talking to your kids about disasters:
Call 918-480-SAFE to report a student or school safety concern.
Is someone in immediate danger?
SOCIAL MEDIA THREATS
We urge parents and families to talk with their children about the importance of good digital citizenship and the severity of the potential consequences for bad decisions made online.
Students who make threats to schools on social media are subject to serious and potentially life-altering consequences. Regardless of the original intention of a social media post - whether it was a joke or an expression of frustration – students can face long term suspension, arrest, and criminal charges.