How Oklahoma defines a 'safe school'

Thursday, September 25th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you felt your child was in physical danger at school, you’d want them out, and the federal government is trying to make that easier. News on 6 Anchor Terry Hood is here to explain.

The federal ‘No Child Left Behind’ law requires states to identify its most dangerous schools. This is the first year they've done that, and the results were somewhat surprising. Only 52 of the nation's 91,000 public schools made the list, none of them in Oklahoma.

The federal government allowed each state to come up with their own definition of persistently dangerous. This is how Oklahoma defines it. An Oklahoma school is persistently dangerous if for three years in a row, 2% of the school's population has been convicted of a violent crime, and those crimes happened on school grounds or on school property like the bus.

It's a pretty strict definition, which excluded every school in the state. State officials say they're trying to make sure Oklahoma schools are getting trouble makers out of school before the violence escalates.

Tulsa Public School spokesperson John Hamill says they follow a code of conduct to maintain student safety in the district. "There's certain things we just don't tolerate, fighting suspended for one to five days."

State law does allow for any student who is a victim of a violent crime on school property to transfer out of their current school, if another school has space.