Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bullied at school, six-year-old walks out of OKC school, wanders along I-240 and Western

"A good Samaritan helped reunite a mother with her 6-year-old son, who was found wandering along a busy road after he walked out of an elementary school," KOCO reports.
First-grader Xavier left Southern Hills Elementary School on Tuesday after he told his teacher that he had to use the bathroom. Instead, he was found walking along Interstate 240 and Western Avenue in the rain with no adult in sight.

Amanda Lopez, who was driving in the area, told KOCO 5 that she was in the right place at the right time. She recorded a video, stunned at what she was seeing. 
"There's a 6-year-old little boy standing out here in the street by himself," Lopez said while recording the video. 
Lopez is furious, saying a mother could have lost a child. 
"We're putting our babies in these people's hands, and for that baby to walk off like that, it's not right," Lopez said. 
Lopez and a group of others helped Xavier and tracked down his mother, who was visibly upset and wondering how this happened. 
"I don't understand why he was able to walk out them doors and through a fence. I don't understand that," Xavier's mother, Amber Mateos, said. 
Oklahoma City Public Schools officials called the incident unfortunate, saying, "We are currently working through it with school staff and the family involved. As always, the safety and security of OKCPS students is our top priority." 
Lopez is thankful she was in the right place at the right time but hopes the situation leads to more than just an apology. 
"That child walking down the side of the highway like that, anybody could've took home and he woulda been gone," Lopez said. 
According to Lopez, Xavier told her he was trying to find his way home after being bullied at school.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Putnam City using facial recognition on security cameras

"At Putnam City Schools, they've spent $10 million in the past four years on school security," KFOR reports ("Oklahoma school district using facial recognition on security cameras").
Their network of surveillance cameras is monitored 24/7. "We have someone in here in dispatch watching the cameras, monitoring alarms; making sure our schools are safe and secure even through the night," said Putnam City Schools campus police chief Mark Stout.

The chief says the district already has a wide range of equipment at their disposal already: 900 cameras, 2,000 motion detection devices, and 200 sound detection devices.

Those cameras are now fully equipped with facial recognition, installed on each of the district's high school campuses, middle school campuses, and the alternative school.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

'Tis the season for utility-bill verifications


This photo I snapped today in overwhelmingly white north Edmond serves to remind us that the black market for school choice is still thriving.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Mother says Catoosa school told her to keep silent about inappropriate touching

"A mother is speaking out tonight after a former Catoosa teacher accused of inappropriately touching students turned himself in," KTUL reports.
"She went up there to complain about it, and they told her to be quiet," said the mother.
Since the incident, this mother says her daughter is afraid to go to school and isn't sure if she’ll be returning to Catoosa this year. 
We reached out to the district for a comment, but our calls were not returned.

School-voucher program is helping Oklahoma foster kids

One little girl, who was adopted from foster care in 2015, suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, the after-effects of severe abuse, and more. Her mom says the Lindsey Nicole Henry scholarship has been a godsend.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

#OklaEd sending three million tax dollars to private company


"School districts across the country are increasingly turning to new technology to help minimize the impact of an active shooter," FOX 25 reports.
Just this year, the Oklahoma State Department of Education secured $3 million in new funding to implement a statewide panic button system. “We have 540 brick-and-mortar districts, and we hope that 100% of them have adopted the program by the end of the 20-21 school year,” said Jon Parker, executive director of school safety & security at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

The department is providing the RAVE Panic Button to all districts. It’s an app that alerts authorities to an active shooter, a medical emergency, a fire, or other crisis. The app simultaneously sends out a notification to other teachers and staff on campus as well.

“Staff members are very well-equipped to be able to respond quickly, but they can’t respond until they know they need to respond,” said Noah Reiter, vice-president of customer service for RAVE Mobile Safety. “So this application reduces the time it takes for them to implement their emergency response.” ...

Oklahoma will join states like Delaware and Arkansas, along with the District of Columbia, in deploying this technology. It reflects a growing trend—and booming business—in the U.S. In 2017, security equipment and services for schools generated $2.7 billion in revenue, according to analysis by HIS Markit.
Booming business! Indeed, it looks like this private company may even (gasp!) turn a profit. Which is fine with me. For as past OCPA speaker Walter Williams reminds us, profits are very much a good thing.