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‘All about safety’: Stronger gun policy in Bend-La Pine Schools

An update to district's 'no guns on campus' policy, including concealed carry

(Updated: adding links to revised district policies)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The punishment for bringing a weapon on school grounds in Bend-La Pine Schools has always been determined by its own policy, which could include banning a person from a school. Now, under a revised policy for prohibiting firearms, bringing a gun on a school campus - even with a concealed carry permit -- could result in a year in prison, a $6,250 fine or both, under a new state law.

Senate Bill 554, went into effect in September, gives school districts the authority to adopt stricter gun policies. Part of the new law also includes educating the community about secure gun storage and safety.

Heather McNeil is a member of the Bend Chapter for Moms Demand Action, an organization that fights for public safety measures to protect people from gun violence. She submitted testimony to the school board and pushed for the policy to be adopted.

(Related, updated Bend-La Pine policies involve students and staff as well as volunteers, contractors and building use permit-holders.)

"It's all about safety," McNeil said Friday. "It's all about taking care of our kids. Lockdowns are happening, and they're so terrifying, and we need to do what we can to make sure that kids are safe."

McNeil's daughter graduated from Summit High School.

"If my child was still in school, I would take a huge breath of relief," She said. "Just to know that the school district is taking this seriously and caring about the safety of children -- that makes me relieved and I'm proud that's what they're doing and that they recognize the importance of that."

Bend-La Pine Schools is one of three Oregon school districts that have adopted the policy.

Julianne Repman, a spokesperson for the district told NewsChannel 21 why they voted to implement it.

"We just really believe that this is something that helps to create a better environment for teaching and learning," Repman said. "It takes a little bit of stress off our students and staff and those volunteering in our schools to know that we're taking this extra step to create this learning environment that they can really thrive in and not worry about their safety."

The change will begin within the new year and there will be increased signage and education.

Author Profile Photo

Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.

Comments

118 Comments

    1. Yes, it will work. Especially since all these school shooters possess a concealed weapons license. And even though the kids are no longer taught personal finance in school $6000 is enough to deter such an act, even while high on drugs.

        1. Hmm it’s my understanding that most of the “shooters” are students. So how does this prevent anything? Emotionally unstable children do not care about consequences. So making it illegal to carry a weapon on school grounds will solve nothing. And as said before by many, “criminals don’t obey the law” you know otherwise they wouldn’t be criminals.

          1. This policy does let the criminals know they will have zero resistance until an officer arrives, or should I say the counselors and try and tell them it is not their fault, it’s the Orange mans fault, even as we all know this has been happening, way befor the Orange man.
            Sad truth is some can’t face the reality

        2. Awww. Cute. A new catch phrase on your broken record to repeat over and over again. It makes a very compelling argument so please use it over and over and over….

          1. Yep, every cop, every soldier, every woman, every man, every security guard, every armored car driver, every pawn shop owner and every hunter are rednecks. Didn’t you know that? If you own a firearm, you are a redneck. Say hello to a proud redneck. Certainly better than being a nimby Democrat.

      1. ” Yes, it will work. Especially since all these school shooters possess a concealed weapons license ”

        More misinformation. A large portion of the school shooters are students,
        and high school students aren’t old enough to have a concealed permit,
        and no,the fines won’t make any difference at all because people that are
        determined to carry out a shooting could care less about fines.

            1. According to the gun industry, more guns = less gun violence. I totally trust them and their bankrupt and failed mouthpiece the national redneck association.

            1. Exactly! Gun free zones have been nothing if not proven to be gun free targets. But you will never convince the anti-gunners of this truth. Someone with a concealed carry license has to go through a more stringent back ground check than someone merely trying to purchase a firearm, thereby proving themselves to be a law biding citizen. Someone bringing a firearm into a gun free zone with the intent to kill likely does not not have a carry license, and cares little that it’s a gun free zone. In fact they prefer it to be a gun free zone so that they may do as much damage as they set out to do. But you can’t convince the anti-gunners of this truth, because their own personal truth is all they are willing to listen to.

        1. We’ve learned signs and policies don’t work. Well, at least those of us who understand facts, actions, and consequences have learned these grim lessons. Others still believe in rainbows and unicorns.

      1. Just as we shouldn’t have speeding laws because people speed on nearly every road and highway across the USA, every day. Seatbelts? Texting while driving? Drinking while driving? I mean people ignore these laws so why have them?

        1. Your statement just proves that you too believe that this law will do nothing to stop the lawless people. A shooter isn’t driving down the street. They are, if you are familiar with target shooting, sending one down range. A speeder doesn’t have an intent do do harm not is a Driver under the influence. A shooter is there to harm regardless of the consequences. This law only prevents a good citizen from stepping in.

        1. Why stop there? There must be millions of other things that have never happened that we could make a law about.

          Do you even know how ridiculous what you said sounds?

    1. Only a ***** would follow the law that doesn’t protect them all of us real gun responsible owners will still carry no matter what stupid law there is because we want to live

  1. Ha, and the snowflakes didn’t even realize we law abiding citizens were carrying and protecting your children before today. Now, only the law breakers will be carrying. Sorry kids, if a whack job enters your school with a gun now, my gun will be double locked up in a safe. I can’t help you anymore.

      1. Hey Bob, how many “No Weapons” signs have prevented shootings, let alone school shootings? I will wait for your link to the story. (Play the Jeopardy theme song here.)

              1. Everytown is Michael Bloomberg’s personal agenda vehicle. It has a record of lobbying lawmakers with slanted data. The organization employs deception to pursue its goals.

    1. How is your gun going to protect my kid during school time? Can you please explain. Are you guarding all Bend-La Pne schools at the same time? Are you God so you are omnipresent?

    2. My carry will still be on my side. But because I am a law biding citizen, I can no longer help stop the criminal shooting up the school. Sorry kids, but this new rule guarantees you ZERO protection under the law. You single school resource officer will have to single handedly thwart off any threat. Likely while hiding behind his vehicle outside waiting for the shooter to come out.

  2. Good. If someone with multiple training sessions a year for 26 years can’t differentiate a taser from a firearm during a stressful situation and ends up killing an unarmed man, imagine what havoc an untrained self-proclaimed “good guy with a gun” could cause.

    1. A “stressful situation” FathersChild? Ya mean like an active shooter? One who doesn’t care what the law says. When no one is able to mount any meaningful defense? Did this situation just get better in your world view? Hide under a desk, cause that always works!

      1. Conversely, if I feel that I’m in an environment where I would benefit from having a concealed weapon for self-defense, then chances are that I would go ahead and carry a concealed weapon even if I’m in a supposed “no gun” zone. So I’d be a good guy ignoring gun laws.
        I know it sounds a bit harsh, but I wish our laws were able to identify and screen people who are nuts ahead of time. But our laws are structured that we are innocent until proven guilty (retroactive, not proactive), and that makes sense for most situations, but this gives crazy people ample ability to legally access guns. I don’t know the stats, but I’d imagine that most school shooters, or most mass shooters, have guns that were purchased legally either as their own purchase, or a purchase by a member of their household.

    2. A stressful situation You can’t even handle someone holding a sparkler on the 4th of July you think the whole place is going to burn down. For you to judge another person you should look at your own faults first

    3. I don’t carry a taser so I have only my concealed carry. Pretty sure I can differentiate. I am also thoroughly trained in the use of my firearm. So while you cower behind something, someone who has enough bravado could’ve been saving your children. But no more. Because with this law, saving your children would be breaking the law and therefore illegal. Sorry about you choices.

  3. I would prefer my child’s school teacher, principal and staff be armed to shoot the bad guys who do not follow the laws anyways. I feel my child would be much safer….

    1. You’ve met your kids’ teacher, principal, and staff, right? Most of them aren’t inclined nor have the ability or mindset to carry a gun – and generally that is one more thing in a long line of things distracting them from actually focusing on teaching. But I see your point that for those who are inclined to carry and are properly trained, they should be allowed to do so. I just think the percentage of them who want to do that or have the inclination to do that are a tiny fraction.
      It would be nice if we could go back to the good ol’ days when we didn’t have to worry about this type of thing happening in schools, but that ship has sailed. What different approach would be better? This isn’t a popular or realistic opinion, but my opinion is that we need to bring back nut-houses. If someone starts showing signs that they have an unhealthy obsession with guns/violence, being a special ops wanna-be with armored vests and tactical gear, making threats, acting weird, etc. then they should go to the looney bin for a nice little vacation and some quality time with professionals. 🙂

    2. Never going to happen because a big percentage of teachers are part
      of the liberal anti-gun crowd. Having a bunch of people that are afraid
      of guns carrying one in a school is just asking for bad things to happen.

  4. Run. Hide. Fight. Guess which option Bend-LP and those insufferable anti-gun busybodies have just removed. Hope an active shooter never comes to Bend-LP school, but at least the survivors and relatives know who to sue.

    1. Running and hiding give you far better odds of surviving than fighting. Fighting should always be the very last resort and only used when you are absolutely out of options and have your back to a wall. If you have to resort to fighting an assailant, then odds are you have already lost.

        1. Not at all. If the shooter is present then sheltering in a secured location or fleeing has better odds of survival than seeking out the attacker and attempting to counter attack them. Real life is not Hollywood.

      1. If you’ve gotten to “back against the wall” you’ve lost any means of effective defense. You ABSOLUTELY fight back, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Decide early enough to be aggressive enough. Running and hiding delays the inevitable. If someone is attempting to force entry and is greeted on the other side by an ambush of force that is much more survivable for would be victims than everyone backed to the wall. Better still; if someone is attempting to force entry and greeted by a good guy with a gun. Drop the feel good pacifist crap and join reality!

          1. Reality says that does it Danube? I know of one shooting in Oregon when I was young where the shooter was stopped by students. You don’t always have the luxury of deciding to run. If running is an option then I can guess what the likes of you will be doing. Chris Kyle said it well when he said, “there are wolves, there are sheep, and there are sheep dogs.” Unfortunately the sheep are getting dumber, the wolves more deranged and the sheep dogs are gonna just have to watch out for themselves. A piece of advice Danube: if it ever happens to you, FIGHT, running just let’s you die tired.

          2. I am not afraid to fight back. If I go down, I go down fighting. The headline will read, “He put up a valiant fight and saved many”, not “He coward in a corner waiting to die like a dog”

  5. Many of the school shooters kill themselves. Obviously no law will stop them. The only thing that will stop them is another gun and Bend-La Pine just removed that obstacle. Now school children are at the mercy of the next lunatic.

        1. Those were gun free zones, The term “Good guy with a gun” means exactly that. A good guy doesn’t break the law, therefore there are no good guys with guns in gun free zones.

  6. When they stop talking about guns and start talking about how schools are COMPLICIT in school shootings, then I’ll listen. The typical school day is full of catering to the popular students (teachers calling on the extroverts in class, pep assembles celebrating the football players but never the art students, Facebook posts about the latest basketball score or dance team tryouts but no mention of the achievements of the socially awkward student, etc.). The administrations would never admit this is bullying, but that’s exactly what it is. When Little Johnny goes home after an entire day of feeling worthless (after being told what is valued at school, and he’s not it), and this goes on for years, is it any wonder that he begins to plot revenge? The hate mail to me may now commence.

    1. No, not hate mail, but standing ovation! You totally pointed out one of the root causes for these shootings. This comment could be expanded on to include the home life of the shooter as well.

    2. Guest exactly. The administration teachers principals don’t want to take action on bullys because of lawsuits but they are quick to punish the ones being picked on. If the school district wants to make the kids vulnerable I am no longer going to support the school administration teachers faculty and so on. My grand parents my parents me and all of my family grew up here and went through the school system. Back then they took care of problems and didn’t wait for it to fester.

    3. I agree that it doesn’t appear to be the successful popular extrovert that shoots up the school. I’m not sure that means you can’t celebrate the victorys, or reward excellence. I’m not sure everyone gets a medal. I am sure that it’s not a zero sum game. If I win at football, it does not mean your art project is any less worthy. You don’t have to lose in order for me to win. I for sure know that high school can be rough, and bullying can in no way be tolerated. None of these things has a damn thing to do with responsible adults carying weapons at a school, or anywhere else.

      1. If all that is celebrated or rewarded is the popular child, the football team, the cheerleaders, the leadership students, the soccer star, and the yearbook is full of photos of those students at dances, dress-up days and parties, and the daily announcements are replete with kudos for the “victories” of these students, and everyone else is absent/ignored/invisible, then the school is 100% culpable in the wreckage that ensues.

        I hope teachers and administrators are listening. ENOUGH of celebrating one group of students to the exclusion of other students or allowing it to happen. YOU are causing the problem. This isn’t about everyone getting a trophy. It’s about everyone being made to feel like worthwhile, wanted human beings, and schools are failing miserably at this. This hasn’t changed in decades. Maybe it’s about time. This is absolutely shameful.

        1. Or, we raise children resilient enough to not concern themselves with the affections and praise that are given to others. Jealousy is as poor a character trait as arrogance.

          1. Couldn’t agree with you more. Your child doesn’t need a participation trophy so he won’t shoot up a school. Learn what real bullying is. Most people I know have been bullied – middle and high school can be brutal. Yet it’s up to the child in how they handle it. Bully hass happened forever, though constant school shootings are a relatively new phenomena. Do better, parents. Teach your kid that school doesn’t last forever, but a criminal record for mass murder does. Part of your job as a parent is to raise your child to have self-confidence and the ability to deal with conflict. Otherwise, how in the hell are they ever going to deal with criticism from their boss or supervisors in the workplace? How are they going to handle being told they themselves can’t beat their spouse with impunity because she/he hurt their feelings and made them feel small and sad? We will never be rid of mean people in this world. We can however, shun them, ignore them, or report them. If someone is driving aggressively and trying to get you upset? IGNORE THEM. Thinking you can exact revenge because of a real or (often) perceived slight is why our country is so screwed up right now.

            1. It’s not just bullying, it’s also the hatred and racism that is taught and spoken at home and on top of that you hand an immature teen a gun; what do you think is going to happen?

    1. “We just really believe that this is something that helps” said Julianne Repman, spokesperson for the district. In the unlikely event “belief” fails, she can just recite ORS and point to the sign. Snark aside, I’m not worried about it. I ran the numbers. From 2008 to present, the odds of getting killed in a mass shooting in a school are… 1 in 55 million. To put that in perspective, a person is 100x more likely to die choking on their food. That officially makes hotdogs more deadly than school mass shooters. (Hotdogs are a common cause of choking) This article serves to highlight people’s inane ability to assess risk. Because I guarantee they would laugh you out of the room if you demanded they stop serving hotdogs to make the school safer, but it would in fact save more students from death than eliminating mass shooting events. Hotdogs. Who knew?

        1. You cannot save a life. However, you can prevent a death. However, in order to prevent a death you must be present in the place and time the life is being threatened. Otherwise it’s all just a mute point.

  7. Julianne Repman’s double talk about safety and stress sounds like something out of George Orwell’s “1984.” BTW, I will not comply. If I’m CCWing the whole point is for others not to know I am armed. Sorry, my and mine’s safety trumps your inane policy.

    1. And this is why schools need metal detectors, dress codes, and searches at the door on both the staff and the students; to prevent people like you who believe they are above the law from entering with a weapon.

      1. You are a fascinating sort of fellow, and I mean that sincerely. Your posts offer amazing insight into the mind of an authoritarian sympathizer. Do you study history?

    2. My second amendment right to carry give me the right not to have to go through the corrupt Deschutes county sheriff’s office to ask them for the right to carry a gun I don’t need to ask permission from a criminalistic law force that wouldn’t hesitate killing me I have their training or better from the Marine corps so good luck to them

  8. Could be one of the dumbest policies put in place. People pick gun free zones specifically to attack due to the chance they will have of not getting shot back at until they have done harm. Please cite 1 article or instance anywhere of a school shooting happening from someone with a concealed carry permit. To my knowledge it has never happened.

  9. So how is this enforced? Are our children and parents and teachers strip searched every time they enter the school grounds, metal detectors at all entrances? Who does the enforcement, since we are defunding the police and eliminating “school resource officers”? Are the principal and teachers now responsible for disarming people who may be carrying firearms? Increased signage and education means nothing to someone wanting to harm innocent people. Neither does a $6,250 fine or a year in jail. It is already illegal to use a firearm to harm people.

    1. Metal detectors at all entrances, dress codes forbidding garments that easily hide weapons (And include requiring all backpacks, purses, and the like be clear and see-thru.), and searches are fairly common on the east coast. They also work quite well. I dont see why we shouldnt have them here.

      1. Deschutes county sheriff’s are a joke, I’m only been here 6 years and seen countless new sheriff because they can’t retain they don’t pay anything and having a corrupt da that only picks and chooses what they want to enforce instead of enforcing equally under the law no wonder they keep getting sued

      1. Still waiting…. They must be searching hard for a link. Barney must surely have a link that shows a school shooting happening by someone with a concealed permit….

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