Swift response cited in YHS bathroom fire

Students, staff, emergency personnel did ‘great job’ after school evacuated

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Dr. Jason Simeroth

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon High School students, staff and emergency personnel were commended this week for their swift, coordinated response after a recent fire on campus.

Students were evacuated from the building Sept. 23 after a small fire broke out inside a school bathroom.

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The Yukon Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire quickly. All students and teacher safely returned to their classrooms, officials said.

YHS teachers, administrators and students “did such a great job” following the school’s emergency procedures and safety practices, according to Yukon Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth.

“That’s why we rehearse them – to get the kids out safely,” Simeroth said during October’s YPS Board of Education meeting.

“Everybody did a really, really good job – including the police and the fire department in their response. I was just thrilled to see how everybody put everything into action to take care of the kids first. It worked out for the best.”

The fire was caused by a vape pen stuck in toilet paper, although officials do not believe it was intentionally set.

YHS administrators even manned a fire extinguisher to help firefighters who arrived to douse the mini-blaze.

Some metro-area fire departments are now hiring “if you ever get tired of your principal gig,” YPS Board of Education Member Cody Sanders jokingly advised YHS Head Principal Melissa Barlow.

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SRO CONTRACT, RESTROOM POLICY

A new contract with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office was among business items approved at the Oct. 4th school board meeting.

The formal agreement assigns a full-time, uniformed sheriff’s deputy to serve as a school resource officer at Redstone Intermediate School and Surrey Hills Elementary School.

These are the two YPS sites within Oklahoma City’s corporate limits. The Yukon Police Department has SROs and on-duty patrol officers to provide security at district schools inside Yukon city limits.

Yukon Police SROs have done a “fantastic job” covering schools in the City of Yukon, YPS Board President Leonard Wells said.

Wells expects the same level of service from the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.

Also at the YPS board meeting, a proposed policy titled “Disciplinary Action for Misuse of School Bathrooms/Changing Facilities” was introduced.

If approved, the policy will allow disciplinary action for students, staff and patrons who refuse to:

  • Use the multiple occupancy restroom or changing area designed for their sex;
  • Designate multiple occupancy restrooms or changing areas for the exclusive use of one sex; or
  • Provide access to a single-occupancy restroom or changing area to an individual who does not wish to utilize the multiple occupancy restroom or changing area designed for their sex; provided that such individual is authorized to be on the school premises.

Board members will consider adopting the policy at their Nov. 7th meeting.

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