Racial tensions disrupt Oklahoma schools

Friday, November 7th 2008, 9:08 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- In the wake of Tuesday's historic presidential election, there have been some unsettling reports of racial tensions in local schools, including fights, name-calling and threats against the President-elect.

Guthrie, Putnam City, Shawnee, Oklahoma City all have had incidents reportedly tied into the election of Barack Obama. An incident in Del City even warranted a call to the Secret Service.

Two students at Del City's Del Crest Middle School were taken into custody after they allegedly made threats against Barack Obama.

"Yesterday, our officers did receive information that two 13-years-olds were at a local junior high making threats about President Obama," Del City Police Capt. Jody Suit said.

Del City police said charges of making terroristic threats could be filed against the two 13-year-olds. Although the Secret Service was contacted, they did not get involved because the students are juveniles.

Del City police characterized the threats more as bragging and kids just running their mouths, but say they still had to contact higher authorities. Mid-Del school officials call the incident "isolated" and say they "worked swiftly with local law enforcement to address the issue."

At racially diverse Del City High School, history students said it hasn't become a major problem, but there have been some confrontations.

"There's been a couple of arguments in the hallways, like between classes and stuff. People yelling ‘Obama' and then others yelling ‘McCain.'" student Shannon Humphrey said.

High school teachers and administrators said, if there have been problems, they haven't noticed them, and they're aiming to keep it that way.

"Teaching tolerance and seeing doors opened for people, even people who have not been very tolerant in the past, I think it really does bring them along," teacher Tracey Rotrock said.