Return to Headlines

March 30, 2023 | Message from McDaniel: School Safety and Security Reminders for Families

OKCPS Families, 


As a parent and grandparent, the school shootings making headlines in the last few weeks are the nightmare scenarios that keep me up at night. Schools should be a sanctuary for students. No student or teacher should have to worry about being shot while at school. As a society, as a nation, we must do better. We owe it to our children.


I want to remind you that student and staff safety and security is always the number one priority.


OKCPS employs more than 5,000 people and we take care of more than 32,000 students each day. Because we are such a large district, we are fortunate to have a dedicated team of security professionals and ensure that they have the latest tools and national-level training available to keep everyone in OKCPS safe.


While we can’t predict these terrible tragedies, there are ways to work together in preventing them. Ensuring our schools continue to be a safe place for learning falls in everyone’s hands. We must all work together, remain vigilant and stay familiar with the safety and security protocols that are in place to protect our schools. 


I want you to rest assured that each and every day, we are working together to make sure your children are safe at school and get home safely. As a reminder, you can help by reporting anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to the district’s 24-hour hotline at (405) 587-SAFE(7233).


OKCPS has created a quick guide for families regarding the district's safety and security protocols. Families can view it here: 


In addition to the quick guide, here are a few key things to remember:

  • All schools are required to perform 2 security drills each semester (4 total), with the first one occurring in the first 15 days of the semester. 

  • There are additional drills for evacuation, sheltering and holding in classrooms during a critical situation. 

  • OKCPS has a safety plan in place for each school which includes detailed instructions for those four areas in an emergency situation.

  • We encourage families to keep emergency contact information current with their child’s school.

  • We have a 24-hour Safety and Security Hotline – (405) 587-SAFE(7233). And we encourage anyone who sees suspicious activity at or near a school at any time to please call (405) 587-SAFE. 

  • You can also report threats, incidents, suspicious activity or concerns using our online TIPS reporting system

  • OKCPS has an established working relationship with the Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department and other associated municipal law enforcement agencies. (This includes Spencer, Village, Nichols Hills, Midwest City, and Del City)

  • All of our buildings have controlled access points, including badge only access and safety vestibules. Doors should never be propped open under any circumstances.

  • We have surveillance cameras in all of our schools with more than 5,000 camera angles watching hallways, entries, exits and even parking lots.

  • A dispatcher is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week with access to monitor our robust security camera system. 

  • School Resource Officers and Campus Security Guards are assigned to all middle and high schools.

  • Roving Campus Security Guards are assigned to assist elementary schools.

  • Armed security guards respond to district alarm calls and after hours concerns.

  • All OKCPS Staff, Contractors, Substitutes, and Visitors are required to wear identification badges while on OKCPS property.

  • OKCPS Family Connect allows families to connect with professionals who can help with mental health and other basic needs. If you or your child are experiencing mental health issues, please call us at (405) 587-FEEL(3335) for support during the school day or call 988 for crisis support any time.  


Recently, our Director of Security, Wayland Cubit, provided KOCO with a first-hand look at our state-of-the-art camera system. Watch the News Clip


Safety and security is a top priority for our students and staff. The district remains committed to implementing layers of safety and security and staying up to date with the latest technology available to ensure we do so to the best of our ability. 


In light of the recent tragedies across this country, I felt that it was important to remind families, staff and our community of the safety and security protocols and procedures we have in place at OKCPS.


The topic of gun violence and school shootings is never an easy one to discuss, but unfortunately, it’s a topic we must discuss openly to have an impact. I truly believe if we are all vigilant with our safety practices and report suspicious people or behavior, we stand the best chance of keeping our schools a safe and secure place of learning. 


Thank you for your continued support of OKCPS.