Experts question lockdown
Education: U.S. Grant High School security remains tight for fourth consecutive day
Some wonder if city district isn't giving the whole story.

By Wendy K. Kleinman Modified: September 26, 2008 at 11:21 am •  Published: September 26, 2008
U.S. Grant High School students will be under lockdown for the fourth consecutive day today, a stretch of time national experts say is unusually long.

The school has been locked down since Tuesday, following Monday's arrest of freshman Hodauri Latifu McCoy Jr., 14, on a felony complaint of carrying a firearm in a school.

No one was hurt, but McCoy is accused of pointing a loaded gun at one student and threatening others, according to a police report.

In March, another high school in the city was locked down for one additional day after an incident that sent a 15-year-old to the hospital. The student was stabbed at Capitol Hill High School with a penknife.

Both schools are in southwest Oklahoma City.

Peter Blauvelt, president of the nonprofit National Alliance for Safe Schools, said he has not heard of a school lockdown lasting so long.

"A lockdown should only last until the threat is abated. It seems to me that the threat has been relieved: The individual has been arrested, the gun is out of the school, the kid is out of the school,” Blauvelt said.

"I'm assuming that there's some extenuating circumstances that you and I don't know.”

Peter Pochowski, the leader of another nonprofit school safety organization, said a multiday lockdown is unusual but not unheard of.

"Until they complete this investigation, run down every possible lead, I think they're taking reasonable and prudent steps to make sure the school is safe,” said Pochowski, executive director of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers. Read the letter from Van Buren Elementary's principal to... National Alliance for Safe Schools National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement... Read the letter from Karl Springer about the metal... Read Tuesday's crime report

Online at
•Read Karl Springer's letter posted Thursday about the metal detector inspections.

•Follow links to the Web sites of national school safety organizations.

•Plus, read our Education Station blog for the latest education-related news.

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