Parents at the Oklahoma School for the Blind are alleging that a student was left in a hot van last week during a field trip to the Tulsa Community College Art Workshop.
The temperature in Tulsa was 93 on June 8, when the event occurred.
Students reported that the person in charge, Sherry Holder, yelled at the student and blamed him for being left behind. The child was transported by ambulance to a OSU Medical Center to be checked out, and the Tulsa police dispatched an officer to the hospital.
No charges were filed.
A person answering the phone at the school for the blind said she had been instructed to refer any inquiries about the incident to the Department of Rehabilitation Services in Oklahoma City. Voicemails and text messages left for public information officer Jody Harlan there have not been returned.
UPDATE: Reached by phone, Holder said she was not authorized to talk about the incident and referred inquiries to Harlan.
UPDATE, 9:30 a.m.: Harlan confirmed the incident happened.
"It's the truth," she said by phone just now. "It's not just an allegation."
She is sending a prepared media release about the incident, and when we receive it, we will post it here.
UPDATE, 9:41 a.m.: The media release states the following:
A teenage Oklahoma School for the Blind summer school student was left in a van at Tulsa Community College during an art workshop on Wednesday, June 8.
When OSB staff realized the student was missing, they searched with campus police and found the student inside the van. He was alert and responsive, but received first aid onsite and was transported to OSU Medical Center as a precaution.
His family was immediately informed. The student was released from the hospital at 2:45 p.m. and returned to OSB.
OSB immediately contacted the Office of Client Advocacy in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services on June 8 to initiate an independent investigation.
The school and their parent agency Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services reviewed and improved operational procedures and safety protocols the same day.
An OCA representative arrived on campus on Thursday, June 9, at 10:35 a.m. OSB incorporated initial OCA input in their improvement plans. DRS and OSB will take additional appropriate action if needed as soon as the final OCA report is available.