Okla. School Staffer Threatens Self, Others

Okla. School Staffer Threatens Self, Others

News Nov 21, 2012

Nov. 20--EDMOND -- An employee at an Edmond middle school who was thinking about harming himself and others has been transported to a medical facility for evaluation, police said.

Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said just before 5 p.m. Monday Edmond dispatch received a call from a HeartLine 211 operator. A support staff employee for Sequoyah Middle School had called for help because this person was having thoughts of harming himself and others, Monroe said.

Edmond officers responded just as they do to every possible emergency detention call with the exception this came from inside a school, Monroe said.

"Because of that fact we had more than a normal number of officers respond," Monroe said. "They immediately located the employee and made sure others inside the school did not have access to the employee."

Officers assessed the employee initially and then transported him to a medical facility to be evaluated, Monroe said. The Police Department is working with the school district closely and will provide any support that is needed with this situation, she said.

Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp referred The Edmond Sun to a letter the district was sending home to parents of students at the middle school.

The letter stated that a school support personnel employee called a crisis hotline and made a verbal threat of suicide and harm to others. After officers responded, the employee was questioned in a classroom and officers informed the district he was being taken to a facility for mental health evaluation, it stated.

It clarified erroneous information about a gas leak: "At the time of the incident, a coach gave a directive to some student athletes to stay out of the building because there was a gas leak. There was not a gas leak. The coach's intent was to provide a response that would limit additional inquiry from students so that police could quickly and effectively assist the employee. We are sorry for any confusion this may have caused."

The letter stated that administrators are taking steps to handle this matter. It assured parents that the care and safety of their children "is a top priority."

Monroe said each shift within the police department has mental health trained officers working.

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"We receive mental health and check welfare calls almost every single day and these officers are very valuable to our department, this community and these families involved in the crisis at the time," Monroe said.

They are usually the first to make contact with a person in distress and work diligently to assess the needs and find the appropriate help, Monroe said.

marks@edmondsun.com -- 341-2121, ext. 108

Copyright 2012 - The Edmond Sun, Okla.

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The Edmond Sun, Okla.
Mark Schlachtenhaufen
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