Miami Schools Superintendent on last night’s tragic shooting at football game
Tulsa Police investigate Homicide of 17-year-old shot and killed at McLain High School just as football game with Miami High had finished
MIAMI, Okla. — Superintendent Nick Highsmith of the Miami, Oklahoma school district addresses last night’s tragic shooting at the Tulsa McLain Titans vs. Miami Wardogs football game.
“First, I would like to express my condolences to the family of the 17-year-old young man who passed away in last night’s shooting that occurred after the Tulsa McLain football game. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the family of the other young man who was injured. As a parent, I cannot fathom their hurt and grief. My thoughts and prayers are also with the Tulsa McLain Titan players, students, parents, staff, and community members who are grieving from last night.
What occurred last night was horrific for all who were present. I am still struggling to process everything I witnessed and the tragedy that occurred. I want to thank our three school resource officers who were present with us and rushed into action to protect us. SRO Joey Williams, SRO Richard Davis, and SRO Nash Smith are to be commended for the proactive response to keeping our players, coaches, families, and staff safe. I am also thankful for the parents, coaches, and school staff members who took action to protect our students and their families. Miami Public Schools is blessing to have the support of such wonderful people.
Since the shooting, there have been many questions about why we continue to play Tulsa McLain. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) determines the classification of schools and the district pairings. The district coaches then meet, and each team draws a number. Those numbers are put into a formula that determines who will play who, the site of the game, and the date. District opponents, like Tulsa McLain, are not chose by MPS. They become opponents because the OSSAA has deemed them in our district. However, after last night’s incident, as long as I am Superintendent of Schools, Miami will not travel to Tulsa McLain again to participate in any school activity. I cannot allow our players, students, staff, and family members to return to a place where we have repeatedly been put in danger. I have directed MPS Athletic Director, Chad Davis, to speak with OSSAA Associate Director Mike Whaley by phone today to inform him of our decision. I will communicate this decision with OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson. MPS will accept any consequences that come from this decision.
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I want to personally apologize to our students, parents, staff members, and community members that were placed in harm’s way last night for a football game. I take full responsibility for what happened last night and will work diligently to ensure that student safety is our top priority.” – Nick Highsmith, Superintendent of Schools, Miami, Oklahoma
Deborah Gist, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent, releases a statement following the Homicide at the high school football game, “We are heartbroken that – after tonight’s homecoming game – our community experienced a senseless act of gun violence. We are working closely with the Tulsa Police Department to assist in their investigation of tonight’s tragic events. Right now, our focus is on supporting the students, team members, and families at McLain. I ask that you join me in lifting up the school community and keeping them in your prayers.”
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