February 24, 2024

Students at two Tulsa high schools have been found in possession of guns since the new school year began Thursday.

On Friday, Tulsa Public Schools received a tip on the district’s safety hotline about a student in possession of a gun at Phoenix Rising, an alternative school at 3441 E. Archer St.

When the TPS Campus Police Department placed the school on lockdown, the student mentioned in the tip left the campus, but officers located the student several blocks away and found a gun behind a nearby trash can, said Emma Garrett-Nelson, a district spokeswoman.

Phoenix Rising is operated through a partnership between TPS and Tulsa County Family Juvenile Justice Center and serves students in grades nine to 12 who are involved with or are at high risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system.

On Monday, the third day of classes, a physical altercation occurred at East Central High School, 12150 E. 11th St. After the two students were separated, campus police found a gun in each of their bags, according to Garrett-Nelson.

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While disciplinary information about specific, individual students may not be made public under federal student privacy law, TPS said that in general, students found to be in possession of weapons at school face “incredibly serious consequences up to and including arrest and criminal charges.”

Garrett-Nelson said continued vigilance by parents and students is crucial to maintain safe schools.

“School safety is a responsibility that we all share — we need our students to make smart and safe decisions; we need our families to be aware of how their children are spending time outside of school; and we need everyone in our community to stay vigilant for anything that might jeopardize the safety of our students and teachers,” she said.

“At Tulsa Public Schools, we have preventive measures in place to keep our schools safe, including new secure building entrances, our See.Hear.Share safety hotline, and our Campus Police team members who are deployed both at campuses and on patrol routes in the areas of our schools.”

The school district’s See.Hear.Share safety hotline is 918-480-SAFE (7233). It is staffed around the clock to take in confidential and anonymous safety concerns and tips. Concerns and tips can also be texted to 480SAFE or emailed to [email protected].

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