In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the Cherokee Nation has taken steps to make its schools more secure.
Sequoyah Schools, in Tahlequah, has added new safety locks and armed security on its campus, and has strengthened its school safety plan.
Wednesday, Sequoyah High School and the Cherokee Immersion Charter School ran a lockdown exercise with more than a dozen marshals. Later this spring, the school will run an active school shooting drill with the Cherokee Nation Marshals Service.
"As the son of professional educators, I believe we have a responsibility to provide a safe and protective environment for our children and for our school faculty and staff," Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. "Any action we take that could prevent a scenario like what we saw in Connecticut, we owe it to our students and their families. Well-developed safety protocols coupled with rehearsed emergency response plans will only make Sequoyah Schools stronger and safer."
Sequoyah has already put in place a new locked doors policy on its campus, leaving only the main entrance door unlocked.
The Cherokee Nation has also placed three armed officers on the Sequoyah campus, covering both day and evening shifts.
"Student safety continues to be top priority at Sequoyah Schools," Superintendent Leroy Qualls said. "We will take any threat seriously and will follow whatever measures deemed appropriate to ensure that our students and staff remain safe."
The tribe and Marshal Service are also reviewing the safety measures for the Cherokee Nation's W. W. Keeler Complex.