Job Fliers At Claremore High School Spark Concerns
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - Claremore High School sent a message to parents telling them to ignore fliers that were handed out at school Wednesday, but the man who handed them out says it was because of miscommunication.
Visitors to the school campus handed out fliers telling students 14 and up that they could earn money handing out free newspapers and taking subscriptions to the Tulsa World.
Two people contacted News On 6 concerned about the legitimacy of the fliers.
A student who wished to remain anonymous said she felt wary about the fliers.
"I just want to warn any other schools of these people," the student said.
"I'm not completely sure of the situation, I just know that over the intercom they had said these people were not allowed in. It worries me as we don't know what exactly to expect if something could possibly happen and or be this dangerous."
An administrator with the high school said in the recorded message that the people were not authorized to be in the school and were asked to leave.
"We do not know the legitimacy of the flier so we recommend you ignore it," the message states.
News On 6 called the number on the flier. Callers are asked to leave their personal contact information if they were interested in the "newspaper job."
A Tulsa World spokesman confirmed no Tulsa World employees were at the school.
Independent Contractor Mike Detherage later said he handed out the fliers, and there was miscommunication between him and the school's principal, which led to confusion about the fliers' legitimacy.
Detherage said he had spoken with a school administrator on Monday and received permission to hand out fliers at the school, but when he showed up on Wednesday, principal Kerri Garroutte said he needed to leave because he didn't have permission to be there.
He said this is the first time he's had this happen in the approximately 30 years he's been distributing issues of the newspaper.
"I was knocking on doors when I was 14," Detherage said.
Detherage said he's changing his operation to avoid future issues.
Detherage said he's going to change the design of the fliers because of their similarities to advertisements used by child sex traffickers to lure children.
He also said he will be going through the school district instead of the individual schools to streamline communication.
A statement from Garroutte was later sent to parents to clarify what happened:
"This is a clarification on today's earlier message. The people from Tulsa world received authorization from a staff member at the high school, and they checked in properly with the front office. But since they did not get authorization from the Central Office first they can not be at the high school. Sorry for the confusion."
Detherage said he encourages anyone who may still be concerned to call Tulsa World to confirm the legitimacy of the fliers.
You can listen to the recorded message from Claremore High School here: https://msg.schoolmessenger.com/m/?s=spCG4_MmbZ0