The Guthrie Public Schools Board of Education held their monthly meeting and school safety was among the topics discussed on Monday evening.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson in his report thanked the members of the Guthrie Police Department, Logan County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma Highway Patrol for their increased presence for all the schools during the events surrounding a high school student making threats toward other students.
The student was suspended and later arrested.
Simpson went on to say that each school site held a Safe Schools Committee meeting last week with the emphasis of parents, students and building administration to have dialogue leading to suggestions for improved safety while at school. Simpson said he attended four of the seven meetings, but at least one staff member from the Central Office joined the group conversation, along with a member of the Guthrie Police Department.
The superintendent went on to say he expects that federal funds will be available in the sometime future to be handed out to schools across the nation much like they did after the 1999 school shooting in Columbine. Majority of the schools used those funds for a School Resource Officer, but when the assistance went away the Guthrie school system, much like many other school districts, funded the SRO position with the school’s general fund.
Simspson concluded his report by congratulating head baseball coach Jon Chappell, who will be inducted to the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on January 26.
Related story: Chappell to be inducted into Coaches Hall of Fame
In addition to the school committee meetings, Simpson held a meeting with Finance Director Dennis Schulz, Technology Director Dee Benson and Maintenance Coordinator Jerry Gammill on what the school can do immediately to make the schools more safe in the short-term and suggested long-term solutions may come through the general fund, or possibly in a future bond issue.
In the consent agenda business, the board approved (6-0) the renewal agreement with Barlow Education Management Services, LLC for them to continue as our chief negotiator in contract negotiations with the Guthrie Teachers’ Association. There is no change in the service fee for this agreement.
The board re-appointed Bill Hodges, Dennis Schulz and Chad Wilson as designated as representatives of the Board of Education to conduct employee negotiations for the 2013-2014 school year.
On the final item, the board approved the 2013 Oklahoma Youth Survey for Guthrie Jr. High School sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Health in cooperation with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.