The Duncan Banner

Local News

August 23, 2013

Classrooms empty on second day

DUNCAN — Only 53 percent of Duncan Public Schools’ 3,763 students attended class Wednesday, after administrators offered an excused absence because of an anonymous threat made toward Duncan High.

Just 230 of the high school’s 984 students — or 23 percent — were in attendance.

“Our enrollment was affected yesterday (Wednesday),” Superintendent Sherry Labyer said. “We knew it was going to be. The elementary schools were affected yesterday, but not to the degree the high school was.”

Next to the high school, the Duncan Middle School had the second largest absentee rate. Of the 743 students enrolled in the middle school, only 425 (57 percent) of students were in attendance.

Students were given permission by Duncan Public Schools to miss school Wednesday if the threat of possible violence made parents uneasy. The absences were excused and will be waived, Labyer said. All of the schools promoted closed campuses, which meant high school students couldn’t leave for lunch and elementary students couldn’t go outside for recess.

And the impact was noticeable across the district, Labyer said, noting the high number of absences. Of the 3,763 students enrolled in Duncan Public Schools, only 1,994 students attended school Wednesday.

Wednesday attendance for the elementary schools included 307 of 449 students at Emerson, 322 of 471 students at Horace Mann, 128 of 198 at Mark Twain, 199 of 323 at Plato, 212 of 321 at Woodrow Wilson and 171 of 274 at the pre-kindergarten centers.

Labyer said there might have been low attendance, but the school district took care to ensure the safety and well-being of all Duncan students who did attend school Wednesday. There were seven police officers on the high school campus and one on the middle school campus. Other officers were patrolling the elementary schools.

“The teamwork in Duncan schools yesterday (Wednesday) should make parents take great comfort,” Labyer said. “The community can be proud of all the people employed in the school district. Everybody felt it was their responsibility to take care of the kids.

“Duncan Police Department has walked with us every step of the way. I know (the officers’) plates are full. Not only have they worked with us, but they have followed up. This has been an amazing partnership with that great group of people. The community should feel safe.”

Three officers were on the high school campus while school was in session Thursday at the school district’s request. Assistant Superintendent Rodney Calhoun said a conversation he had with Lt. Rick Lang of the Duncan Police Department revolved around children being among the priorities of the department.

“Rick Lang said children are the No. 1 concern,” Calhoun said.

Labyer and Calhoun said Thursday went smoothly for Duncan Public Schools.

“We were over at the high school this morning, and we watched as they got off the bus,” Labyer said. “They looked like they were happy to be back at school. They looked safe.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014

  • Velma Settlers’ Picnic to bring in big crowd

    Throughout its 124-year-history, the Velma Old Settlers’ Picnic has evolved from a community picnic to a large event featuring a rodeo, carnival and live music.

    July 29, 2014

  • Self-portrait Note: don't overthink when drawing yourself

    Crystal Becerra wants students to learn how to draw self-portraits in the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s latest class.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voter registration for August runoff concludes Friday

    Oklahoma voters have until Friday to register to vote in the August 26 primary runoff election.

    July 29, 2014

  • Teen Theatre Teen Theatre to perform ‘Pied Piper’ Saturday

    Moving into the last few days of rehearsals, Teen Theatre participants are putting the final touches on their upcoming production of “The Pied Piper of Hamlin.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners want fed help to buy tree grinder

    Stephens county commissioners voted Monday to apply for grants to help them buy a tree grinder for the county.

    July 29, 2014

  • Duncan’s dead animals to be sold for science

    The City of Duncan has found what it believes is a positive way to handle the disposal of all the dogs and cats it euthanizes.
    It sells their carcasses to science.
    The practice, which has been going on for about five years now, not only furthers the cause of educational science, but provides some money for the cash-strapped Duncan’s general fund.

    July 27, 2014

  • 7-27 Academy.jpg Prisons expand their reach to train new officers

    Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cable ONE starts lineup changes

      Cable One, the cable TV service provider for Duncan and Marlow, will begin a series of changes in its channel lineup on Aug. 5, the company said.
        The cable service is changing to an all digital format that will enable customers with an HDTV to see high definition programs in true high defnition.

    July 27, 2014

  • Tax-free weekend begins Friday

    It’s been seven years since Oklahoma legislators passed the tax-free holiday to keep shoppers in Oklahoma.
    Beginning at midnight Friday, the tax-free weekend returns to Oklahoma and is set to conclude at midnight Aug. 3. The Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry hopes Duncan retailers will benefit from the three-day event.

    July 27, 2014


Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating