At the end of each day, what parents want most is for their children to come home safely. Putnam City has in place many programs to help students stay safe. Here’s information on just a few of those efforts:
Every school in the district has a secure entrance. A secure entrance means that every person who comes to a school must enter the office to be greeted and screened by office personnel. Specifically, visitors to schools enter the front doors of a school and are met by a locked office door. Office staff can see and talk to visitors before buzzing them into the office. Visitors to the office cannot enter school hallways without being buzzed out of the office.
Putnam City is one of the few school districts in the state to have its own police force. By having our own police force, we have officers dedicated to the same philosophies, values and mission of our educators. These police officers are in our schools for the same reason teachers and principals are: to help children and youth.
The Campus Police Department has in place emergency response plans for use in situations at any of our 27 schools. The plans are adaptable for several types of situations, including terrorism. Several Campus Police officers have attended "Technical Emergency Response Training" put on by the Department of Homeland Security.
Should any school be faced with a major emergency, it won’t be just Campus Police officers that respond. Putnam City has schools in Oklahoma City, Bethany and Warr Acres, and Putnam City Campus Police work closely with the police in each municipality.
During the school day, the district stations one Campus Police officer at each high school and middle school. In addition, two Campus Police officers are on patrol and available to respond to needs throughout the district.
A security officer is at each high school all day long, too, for the most part providing a security presence in school parking lots.
Putnam City’s 27 schools have a total of more than 850 security cameras. At each school a monitor is available so that school staff can, when necessary, look at the view from any camera in the building to determine if there is a disturbance or concern. If an intruder is in a building, they may be tracked on cameras until they can be confronted. Video may be later searched to determine how they got into the building so that any security gaps can be closed. Cameras have also been used to find out who was responsible for theft or vandalism. All camera views in every school can also be called up in our Campus Police station.
The district's "secret witness hotline" is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any student or parent to call and report any criminal activity, violation of school policy or other incident that occurred or might occur on campus. The information obtained from the hotline is used by Campus Police and school administrators to help keep students and staff safe. The number for the secret witness hotline is (405) 787-1919.
It’s also possible to text the secret witness hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit information online at www.putnamcityschools.org/secretwitness
Bright red SNAP boxes are mounted on walls in several places in each school. SNAP stands for “Student Needs Assistance Pronto.” Students who have concerns about bullying, drugs, weapons or any other issue that endangers themselves or fellow students may put a note into the SNAP box. The notes don’t have to be signed, so students who wish to can remain anonymous. School staff check the SNAP box at least once a day.
Students in all Putnam City schools practice lockdown drills twice a year. A lockdown means teachers doublecheck to make sure classroom doors are locked, classroom lights are turned off and students move to an area of the room where they cannot be seen from classroom windows. When conditions warrant, the principal can use the school intercom to ask all classrooms to go into lockdown mode.
The number one thing parents can do to help keep student safe in school is to stress again and again to their children the need to always share safety concerns and rumors with teachers and principals. Situations can’t be investigated and resolved unless school administrators know about them.