Gun found in third-grader’s backpack
By Ken Childers
A gun was found in a third grade student’s backpack at Oakes Elementary Tuesday, and school officials say it was immediately taken away from the student.
At around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Okemah School District delivered a phone message about the incident to parents/guardians of students. A press release was also posted to the district’s website and social media pages. Following is the full text of the message/press release:
“The Okemah School District takes the safety of its students very seriously and does everything it can to provide a safe learning environment. Today, the District received a report that a third-grade student had a gun in his/her backpack. The backpack was immediately searched and a gun was located. Law enforcement was immediately contacted and took possession of the gun and the student. Appropriate action is being taken against the student. As of this press release, it is believed that at no time were any students, patrons or employees in danger. The District wishes to thank the individual who reported the gun and law enforcement for their swift response. Parents, please remember to check your student’s backpacks regularly and please discuss with your students the importance of reporting anything that seems suspicious. The District cannot comment further because of privacy laws.”
In 2019, eight people were killed and 43 were injured in 25 shooting incidents that occurred on school grounds or during school-sponsored events in the United States, according to Education Week. Of the eight people killed, five were students or other children and three were school employees or other adults.