OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – School districts across the metro have taken steps to heighten security at high school football games after the shooting at Choctaw High School that killed a teenager Friday night.
It was a topic of discussion for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association on Monday.
“It’s going to be virtually impossible to stop all these things from happening regardless of the measures that people put in place,” said David Jackson, executive director of OSSAA. “I think they (districts) do a really good job of protecting our kids. It’s just hard to, it’s hard to stop all of it.”
Del City and Piedmont Schools will add extra patrols at games Friday. Moore and Putnam City districts said they will evaluate protocol already in place.
Putnam City Schools added 52 metal detectors at its middle and high schools at the start of 2023, spending more than $700,000.
The district’s chief of police, Mark Stout, said it was money well spent.
“This system works a little bit different than metal detectors,” said Stout. “It works on basically the density of the metal, the shape of that metal in the mass of that metal. And it detects that in an instant.”
Stout said the system has already spotted guns and knives at games before the weapons can pass through the gates. The district also announced its game between Putnam City North and Putnam City West was a closed game and only students from those schools, as well as feeder schools, will be allowed inside.
KFOR reached out to Garrett Metal Detectors, a Texas-based company, which said thousands of schools across the country use its detectors for safety.
“That last line of defense, we think, is critically important for schools,” said Steve Novakovich, CEO of Garrett Metal Detectors.
Novakovich said the demand for the “last line of defense” has grown in the last 10 years.
“Without that kind of screening, it’s really impossible to ensure that weapons don’t get into your school,” said Novakovich.