MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 2, 2013

Bartlesville beefs up school security as students return

— BARTLESVILLE (AP) — When Bartlesville students return to the classroom Wednesday, they will see an enhanced police presence and improved locks on classroom doors after an 18-year-old student was accused of plotting to shoot students at the high school, officials said.

Bartlesville Public Schools officials said that the district's schools revamped security plans over the holiday break after last month's arrest of student Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, who was accused of plotting to shoot students at the school and detonate bombs to kill police. No one was harmed, and Chavez's mother has said her son did not seriously plan any violence.

Chavez is being held on $1 million bond in the Washington County jail on a charge of planning or attempting to perform an act of violence. He's due in court Jan. 11 for a status hearing.

Police arrested Chavez on the same day as the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Wednesday is the first day of classes after the holidays for Bartlesville students. The Examiner-Enterprise reported that Superintendent Gary Quinn said in a letter to parents Monday that there will be a "strong police presence throughout the district" when students return.

The school also planned new locks for some classroom doors.

"While we have locks on all classrooms, we have ordered improved locks for some classrooms to allow teachers more ease in locking the classroom door quickly," Quinn said.

An assistant principal at Bartlesville High School notified police on Dec. 13 after a student said Chavez "tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut," Bartlesville police Lt. Kevin Ickleberry wrote in an affidavit.

"He also told them that he would place bombs by the doors so when the police arrived he would detonate the bombs, killing police as they entered the building," Ickleberry wrote.

 

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