As Tulsa Public Schools welcomes students back this year, safety is a higher priority than ever. For the first time, Edison Preparatory Academy will require all students to wear ID badges. The IDs can be used for checking out library books and buying cafeteria food. But the main reason for the IDs is security, and they don't expect resistance from students. "Absolutely not. Because they know it's in their best interests and the well being of the community, " said Steve Mayfield, principal.
In another move to strengthen security this summer, the district used a federal grant to install surveillance cameras in all Tulsa public high schools. Cameras will be monitored and will record what they see on-site. Armed security guards are already on duty in all middle and high schools and four elementaries. TPS security director Don Myers says in the wake of the Columbine tragedy, officers will be particularly alert for bullying behavior. "Every instance of a complaint. A child comes with an issue with a student. We need to look at it and I think we'll investigate things a little more carefully," said Myers.
All middle and high schools have fixed metal detectors used for random checks in different areas on school grounds. Myers also showed the News on Six hand held detectors that security guards will carry as well. Officials say most students appreciate the extra security measures. "I think it's good that they want to protect us. I think it's a good benefit to the students and teachers," said Deya Moore, student. Isaac Kiersey, a student at Edison says security is not really on his mind. He's just worrying about getting good grades.