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Found on campus, graffiti threatening a shooting prompted the investigation

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - After students reported threatening graffiti located in a bathroom on Thursday, April 12, Canby Police and Canby High School administrators investigated.Canby Police and Canby High School administrators investigated a threat at the high school on Thursday, April 12.

That morning, graffiti was discovered in a bathroom threatening a shooting at the school Thursday, according to Principal Greg Dinse.

Students reported the incident, and the administration and Canby Police responded immediately, initiating the investigation, Dinse said in a letter to the community Friday.

Canby Police Lieutenant Jorge Tro said that they talked with school counselors, evaluated whether any threats had been made previously, and with all information came to the decision that the threat was not credible and they considered CHS to be safe.

Tro noted that when school violence occurs, it usually comes without formal warning. He said police take situations like this seriously and if the threat were considered credible, they would have handled it differently.

Therefore, classes continued as normal, with an increased police presence throughout the day. Police and administrators walked throughout the school, watching for any suspicious activity and closely monitoring students who have had a prior history of violence or other troublesome behavior.

Dinse said in a letter Thursday that the police presence was "to provide students, the community and staff additional assurance that security is our top priority."

But for some parents, police presence wasn't enough, and Dinse said several students checked out of school.

"We took it seriously enough to conduct investigations on it," Dinse said.

Dinse did not comment on whether or not they know who wrote the threat, but he said that police are continuing the investigation.

"In the event that a student were to do something like this, we look at this as a pretty serious disruption at the school and we would take appropriate disciplinary action against the student," Dinse said.

School Resource Officer Greg Larrison is working on some leads, but at this time, police do not know who posed the threat, according to Tro. If they do find the offender, the legal consequences vary widely depending on whether it was a juvenile or an adult, his/her motives and other factors. Tro said the official charge would be disorderly conduct, which typically involves entrance into a diversion program and/or fines, but typically not jail time.

"We made the right decision yesterday, and we're following through to find out who did it," Tro said.

In his Friday letter, Dinse pointed out that this serves as a reminder that there is heightened concern for school safety and that in the event of a credible threat, the high school would respond with a set of protocols including one of the following actions.

Lockdown: This is the most extreme safety measure and used when a threat is in the school building. All students are sheltered in classrooms and other safe locations throughout the school. Police would evacuate when the situation was safe.

Lockout: If there is a threat in a neighboring area, the school is secured by locking all entrances. No one is allowed to enter or exit and school continues with appropriate modifications.

Evacuation: If there is a safety incident, evacuation of all or part of the school may be required. There is a standard procedure and staff are trained in guiding students to safety and accounting for all students.

Reunification: In the event that the safety incident causes school to be canceled, families will be notified and a reunification process will begin. This process is under review and refinement.


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
503-829-2301
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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