Tulsa Public Schools Adopts New Pick-Up Policy

Monday, December 6th 2010, 9:05 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Tulsa School Board is taking action to boost student safety, but that means new rules for parents.

You will no longer be able to simply walk in and pick up your student early from school. The new, tougher policy stems from an incident three months ago that prompted an Amber Alert for an eight-year-old little girl.

9/21/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Reviewing Pick-Up Policy After This Week's Amber Alert

Staff members at Tulsa's McKinley Elementary called Ambrose Martinez man to come pick up his eight-year-old daughter from school.

Martinez was wanted by police for beating and sexually assaulting his wife. Tulsa police say Martinez sent his friend to pick up the girl. The eight-year-old was missing for several hours, until police tracked her and her father down in Catoosa. He was arrested, after he tumbled off a railroad bridge.

9/20/2010 Related Story: Watch As Tulsa Rape Suspect Is Arrested After Falling Into Verdigris River

"You need to protect yourself. It's unfortunate. But that's just the way that it is these days," Masso said.

The new policy at TPS will only allow parents, legal guardians, or adults with written permission to pick up children early from school. Everyone will have to sign out and show a valid photo ID.

Some say they're happy to take the extra steps to make sure the wrong person doesn't walk away with their child.

You know it might be a hassle for a while, but when I think about someone possibly picking up my grandchild it makes me sick," said Cleasa Phillips, a grandmother. "So I think it's a very good policy that we do that."

"I think it's a great idea," Kathy Dunlap, a grandmother, said. "Any time we can make the kids safer, I think it's a great idea to me."

TPS says it will only limit a parent's pick-up privileges if the district has court records directing them to do so.  It's still the parent's responsibility to provide the school with up-to-date emergency contact information.