(Update: Adding videos, details of efforts underway)
School districts say they're continuing efforts to keep campuses safe
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With the Safeway shooting on the east side of Bend that claimed the lives of two Central Oregonians Sunday night, one of whom fought heroically to disarm the shooter, questions regarding school safety and security have been raised by community members.
According to posts the shooter published online just before the tragic chain of events, he had planned to go to Mountain View High School on the first day of class Sept. 8 and shoot students and staff on the campus.
That has raised questions across Central Oregon about the safety of schools and what measures are being taken to increase security.
Over the years, Bend-LaPine Schools have taken steps to improve staff and student safety. Those improvements include social media monitoring to identify threats before something happens, secured perimeters, a single point-of-entry access, and a keystroke locking all exterior doors if needed.
Here are a few things the district shared is still underway: More cameras in hallways and bathrooms, and using card access for doors to help monitor those coming in and going out.
As for the Redmond School District, Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline said they work continuously on preventative, physical and operational security.
“We have five school resource officers who patrol our buildings, and we have a great relationship with our police department," Cline said. "Our folks are trained, our staff is trained in how to respond, if there happens to be an active shooter.”
Crook County School District Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson said the goal is to upgrade basic facility needs, as well as camera systems.
“Cameras are extremely helpful in tracking areas that aren’t fully exposed," Johnson said.
Crook County Schools' $66 million bond measure to improve school safety and security lost with nearly 52% in opposition earlier this year. Johnson said there may be a new proposal on the ballot next May that also includes upgrades to entry points. With community support, she hopes these changes can be made to better protect staff and students.
The Jefferson County School District sent NewsChannel 21 the following statement:
Below are some steps the District is taking to continue to get better every day in school safety.
- Key district staff participated in a safety training over the summer. This training prepared us for a range of emergency situations.
- The District is diligently working on improving the security card access in all of our schools. This work is made possible due to voters supporting our 2021 Bond.
- Schools will continue to have a single point of entry for all visitors.
- We continue to emphasize to our staff and students the importance of ensuring doors are secured at all times.
- All of our schools have visitor and volunteer safety protocols. We ask our families to help us by honoring those protocols when entering a school building.
- We hold routine safety drills in all of our schools to better prepare our students and staff.
- We have very strong partnerships with our law enforcement and emergency services providers.
Cline said, “As much as we’d like to pretend things can’t happen here, they certainly can. Really, school safety is a community responsibility."
If you hear of or see any concerning behavior, be sure to report it to your local law enforcement or the Safe Oregon Tip Line.