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More police, but half the students absent at quiet Mtn. View HS

KTVZ

(Update: More from police, parent, school district; about half students stayed away)

Mountain View High School in northeast Bend held somewhat normal classes on Tuesday, with an increased police presence and about half of the student body staying away due to a rumored threat of a school shooting that spread like wildfire on social media the previous night.

“The police department and the school district are not going to allow kids to go to an unsafe environment,” police Lt. Clint Burleigh said Tuesday. “They’re going to an environment where we’re having some extra precautions.”

NewsChannel 21’s Samantha O’Connor said she saw at least three Bend police cars in the parking lot Tuesday morning and saw two officers go inside after talking to some parents.

“The parking lots were about half full and it was very quiet before the bell rang,” O’Connor said in a Facebook post.

“Nothing’s happened like this to us,” said Abby Green, parent of a student at Mountain View. “With everything that’s going on in the world, you hear a little bit of something like that and, of course, the smartest thing to do it keep your child away from all of that.”

Burleigh said the case is still under investigation and he could not confirm what the social media message said, or how many students were involved. He said the department hears of threats like this a few times a year, and it takes each one seriously. Officers checked on other campuses throughout the district, in addition to being stationed at the high school.

After classes, school district spokeswoman Julianne Repman said only about half of the students showed up at school. A planned morning assembly where the homecoming court was going to be announced was canceled.

Despite the changes, Repman said staff and law enforcement officers wanted to keep the day special.

“(The officers) helped us go from classroom to classroom, honoring our homecoming princesses,” she said. “They gave them their tiaras and their roses and we just really tried to do our best to make this a positive day.”

Social media reports Monday night about a rumored shooting to take place Tuesday prompted the principal to send a note to all parents about the ongoing investigation and plans for increased police presence at the school.

Here is her full, unedited message.

“Mountain View High School families,

“Several responsible students came to us, family members and law enforcement tonight to report that they had either seen first-hand, or heard of, a statement made on social media about a rumored shooting planned to take place tomorrow at our school. School staff, district officials and Bend Police Department officers and detectives were notified immediately and have been working into the night to find the source of the rumor. At this time, law enforcement is investigating the alleged threat.

“We are reaching out to our school community with this email tonight because we want to find the student or students responsible and hold them accountable for disrupting our educational community in this way. Be assured that we are also taking steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff, which will include a temporary increase in police presence on campus. I also want to add that we absolutely will not tolerate copy cats of this situation. Anyone found making any type of a threat to any of our schools will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“Please encourage your students to contact the non-emergency line at 541.693.6911 or our text-to-tip phone/text number at 541.600.4267 at any time tonight to share information they may have about the alleged threat or persons who may be responsible.

“We believe that by working together with our staff, students and parents, we can expedite the investigation and help control rumors about the situation.

“A safe community for students, parents and staff is important to us.

“Thank you for your support, Cougar community.

“Katie Legace

“Principal, Mountain View High School”

NewsChannel 21 and KTVZ.COM will have more information, as developments warrant.

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