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Private Donor Offers To Pay For Security Guard For Tulsa Elementary School

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Eliot is one of many TPS buildings - most all of them elementary schools - with less security than the district would like. Eliot is one of many TPS buildings - most all of them elementary schools - with less security than the district would like.
Gretchen Landers is the PTA President and she says the parents aren't willing to wait for security upgrades that are several months away. Gretchen Landers is the PTA President and she says the parents aren't willing to wait for security upgrades that are several months away.
Chief Gary Rudick said 15 schools will definitely get security cameras and electronic locks within a year, but 29 other schools, and some TPS offices, will be left waiting. Chief Gary Rudick said 15 schools will definitely get security cameras and electronic locks within a year, but 29 other schools, and some TPS offices, will be left waiting.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools is considering fast-tracking security upgrades that were planned for the next several years.

The change in priorities could squeeze a three-year plan into one. School leaders are considering putting off other purchases to immediately buy security equipment. That comes as the parents at a school waiting for upgrades offer to pay for their own security guard.

Eliot is one of many TPS buildings - most all of them elementary schools - with less security than the district would like.

The parents don't like it either, but this is the first school with parents ready to pay $10,000 toward a security guard.

"And I had a private donor step up and say, I'm willing to give a lump sum of the money," said Gretchen Landers.

12/17/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police, Tulsa Public Schools To Step Up School Security

Landers is the PTA President and she says the parents aren't willing to wait for security upgrades that are several months away.

"Our school, our parents are placing a priority on this. I hope other parents will. I wish the state would put a priority on this," Landers said.

The Campus Police Department isn't accustomed to getting donations, and it's going to take some time to figure out the procedure for parents to pay for another security guard.

Meanwhile, the district might speed up the existing plans to install more security equipment at sites like Eliot.

"Last Thursday, no one really cared that this equipment wasn't in there, and today it's the number one priority for people and it's frightening for them," said TPS Campus Police Chief Gary Rudick.

Rudick said 15 schools will definitely get security cameras and electronic locks within a year, but 29 other schools, and some TPS offices, will be left waiting.

The change in priority could put all of them on the list for next year.

"Some of those sites may have a camera system, but not the doors. Some have the doors and not the cameras, but there are 47 sites that are needing equipment to bring them up to the standard we've set for the district," Rudick said.

It's up to the superintendent, the school board and bond oversight committee to consider changing the priorities, but it's already under discussion.

12/17/2012 Related Story: Booker T. Washington Leading District In School Security

Schools Approved for Installation in 2013:

Anderson Elementary
Bell Elementary
Remington Elementary
McKinley Elementary
Kendall Whittier Elementary
Mitchell Elementary
Eugene Field Elementary
Eliot Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Marshall Elementary
McClure Elementary
Skelly Elementary
Skelly Primary
Jones Elementary
Burroughs Elementary

Schools Currently on the Waiting List:

Academy Central
Carnegie Elementary
Columbus Elementary
Disney Elementary
ECDC Bunch
ECDC Porter
ECDC Reed
Eisenhower at Nimitz
Emerson Elementary
Franklin
Grimes Elementary
Grissom Elementary
Hawthorne Elementary
Hoover Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Kerr Elementary
Lanier Elementary
Lee Elementary
Lindbergh Elementary
McArthur Elementary
Mark Twain Elementary
Owen Elementary
Park Elementary
Peary Elementary
Penn Elementary
Robertson Elementary
Salk Elementary
Springdale Elementary
Street School
TRAICE Academy
Tulsa Learning Academy
Whitman Elementary
Wright Elementary
Other TPS Offices

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