Luther High School Focuses On Security For New Year
LUTHER, Oklahoma - The Luther Lions start the 2019-2020 school year August 15.
Ahead of the big day, administrators said they didn't want to comment on last year's first day.
In 2018 a student was stabbed at a school assembly and had to airlifted to the hospital.
After that day, school security became a focus. The idea of a School Resource Officer (SRO) was already in the works, and eventually one was hired.
Now that officer has moved on from Luther, but the town has a new SRO, Danielle Leonard, and a new chief, Tony Walker.
"Currently she is going through the field training program," said Chief Walker. "She will be starting the school resource program."
The chief said Leonard has been with the department less than a year, but thinks she's going to be a good fit.
"She's very people friendly," said Chief Walker. "Everyone loves her. Hopefully the students will love her as much as we do."
The administration didn't want to comment on what happened last year, but one woman who has covered stabbing, even in to this year, sat down with News 9.
Dawn Shelton started the Luther Register in November of 2015. Shelton is a one woman band, reporter, editor, founder and everything in between, for the digital site.
"Facebook was just on fire with information that I thought was probably false information," said Shelton.
Shelton had a background in news and communications and decided she could be a community journalist.
A few years in and Shelton has already covered two big national stories, the manhunt and eventual capture of Michael Vane and the Luther school stabbing.
"It goes from what is happening to this terrible thing has happened to our neighbors," said Shelton when thinking back to covering Vance
"We just worried about the kids for weeks and the victim who's doing okay and the kids that witnessed it," said the community journalist when remembering the stabbing.
But the goal of the Luther Register was never to share those unexpected tragedies. Shelton writes to share the opposite sometimes.
"There's a lot of potential for Luther and its not the place where bad things happen, and that's probably another reason deep down why I started the Luther Register," she said.
Shelton said knowing the people in the town so closely does have its pros and cons, but she hopes to one day expand the paper.
Shelton would consider having a few more reporters and making the Register her full-time job. In the interim people can find Shelton covering all the meetings, projects and even school sports in Luther, delving deeper into community journalism.