Union Public Schools believes in the importance of keeping students safe and secure, whether they are in a classroom, an extracurricular activity or even traveling between school and home. Not only is keeping students safe and secure important, it is a priority.
Union has in place an initiative to manage and consolidate the Union School District’s security and prevention services providing the opportunity to explicitly address security, orderliness, and caring in our schools.
Utilizing the principles of progressive collaborative community engagement, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and peace building, Union is creating the necessary processes and providing the technical assistance to bring together Union school stakeholders to support them in assessing their needs and strengthening their capacity to leverage all available resources to develop and sustain peaceable schools.
In fact, Union wants its students to be safe even when they are at home, providing programs on fire safety, bad weather and avoiding illegal drugs and alcohol.
Each year, administrators review emergency procedures, security concerns and safety precautions for its students, families and staff.
Visitor Check-in security system
A new computerized security check-in system that identifies registered sex offenders from across the nation is installed at all Union schools. The decision is the result of recent changes in Oklahoma sex offender laws.
Union implemented the system districtwide as part of an overall plan to make school entryways more secure. The system is employee-run software and provides a consistent way to track visitors and volunteers while alerting us to people who might present a danger to students and staff members.
According to state statute Title 57, section 582, sex offenders are prohibited from being within 300 feet of schools, licensed child-care facilities, playgrounds and parks. The only exceptions are when sex offenders are "enrolling, delivering or retrieving" their children from school, the law states.
Under state laws, sex offenders cannot visit schools for any other reason, including volunteering, attending a sporting event or providing assistance at an extracurricular activity.
In order to gain access to a school site, the following steps occur:
The superintendent meets regularly with principals and law enforcement officials to discuss and plan for security concerns, such as updating
its emergency procedures which contains protocols from everything from an approaching tornado to an intruder on campus. In addition to personnel, Union has invested in security systems, including cameras to help safeguard school sites.
Personnel travel around the district to oversee training and drills for both students and staff at all sites including the Education Service Center. While plans differ slightly at each school site – due mainly to differences in building designs – principals have stepped up efforts to raise awareness of safety – as well as the visibility of School Resource Officers with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Officers work directly with students, parents, teachers and staff in assisting with education, prevention and intervention projects.
Union also works with students through a variety of programs administered through the Student Assistance Program.
A safe and secure school environment is essential to the learning process. An important ingredient in achieving safe and secure schools remains alert eyes and ears. Safety is achieved when an atmosphere exists in which students are comfortable talking with adults about their concerns.
Suicide Prevention - 918-744-4800
Family & Children's Services is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, making it part of a network of more than 140 crisis centers across the country providing counseling and mental health referrals 24 hours a day.
The agency's COPES handles all calls made in the Tulsa area.
"It's so important to be able to assist these callers on a local level with the emotional support and care they need," said Stacie Barnett, director of COPES, which stands for Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services. "We have firsthand knowledge of our resources and the ability to mobilize when needed to assist individuals in crisis.
"It adds extra value to have people familiar with local resources and providers and the local stressors and barriers that people face. We'll be able to better get people to the access and care they need."
According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in Oklahoma, and 15 percent of youth surveyed in Oklahoma report that they have seriously considered suicide.
The national hotline can be reached at (800) 273-8255. To call the COPES line directly, call 744-4800.