Luther school board considering school resource officer

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LUTHER, Okla. - Luther school board members will meet Monday to consider adding a school resource officer.

The meeting comes weeks after a student was stabbed at the high school on the first day of classes. Town officials, however, said they talked about adding a resource officer before the incident.

Luther Police Chief David Randall said the designated officer is already a police officer but would have go through the school resource officer academy. The town has already drafted a contract, which was sent to the school district.

Randall said the school district made a few changes, including pay and the officer's duties. For example, he would not be responsible for enforcing school policies, such as dress code violations, just the law.

The officer would be assigned to all three campuses, making rounds at each.

Mark Opgrande with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office describes the job of a school resource officer as three-fold. The agency runs its own program, which is staffed with about 20 SRO’s.

“Not only are you providing the security for the students and staff, you’re also mentoring for the students as well and you’re also a resource for the school and staff,” Opgrande said.

Vanessa Hollis, a parent of two elementary school children, told News 4 it's a step in the right direction.

"When I was in school, it was unheard of for school shootings. It was just very uncommon," Hollis said. "People resolve their issues other ways versus lashing out and hurting people."

Hollis said she hopes the presence of a school resource officer will deter any violent incidents.

"I think kids will think twice before doing something like that at school because they know somebody is there that’s going to stop them," she said.

Luther Superintendent Barry Gunn declined to speak on camera about the matter Monday, but he said the high school also implemented a new policy regarding backpacks. Students can bring them to school, but they are tagged and kept in the office area.

As for the addition of a school resource officer, resident John Randell said he also agreed with the proposal.

“If my grandkids we’re still there, I’d want it but, whether they are or not, there’s other kids I know that are fabulous kids and they need some protection there. We live in a different time,” Randell said.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m.

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