Police declare Lake Oswego High School safe after threat
This story has been updated as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
Police were called to Lake Oswego High School Thursday after a student found a message threatening violence at the school. After placing the school on "secure and hold" status for several hours and searching all campus buildings, Lake Oswego Police announced it was safe for students to leave just after 3 p.m.
The secure and hold status means that all entrances to the building are locked, and no one can go in or out. Additionally, students and teachers remain in their classrooms under this protocol.
In a message to the community late Thursday afternoon, Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Jennifer Schiele noted that other campus buildings like the technology building for the Community Transition Program, the pool, the district central office and Lake Oswego Junior High School (which is across the street) were secured.
"Law enforcement officers from metro area partner agencies were called in to thoroughly investigate the threat and ensure everyone's safety," Schiele said in the message. "The district authorized and directed law enforcement to search all who were on campus and their property for weapons. Throughout the day, people were allowed monitored restroom breaks for urgent matters and lunch was delivered to them. The process did not turn up any weapons or credible threats, and law enforcement is continuing to investigate the incident."
Schiele added that there will be increased police presence at all Lake Oswego schools tomorrow on the heels of this incident.
"We understand if your student feels the need to stay home from school tomorrow and we support that family decision. No new material or exams will be given and absences will be excused," Schiele said. "Parents/guardians, as always, if you decide to keep your child home, please contact your school attendance secretary so that we know your child is safe at home and not on school grounds. For those attending school, we will focus on the care and needs of our students."
To that end, counselors will be available to support students who need to talk about Thursday's experience, according to Schiele.
Since the fatal school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, school districts across Oregon have seen an uptick of potential threats on campuses. On Dec. 6 and 8, both high schools in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District received two fabricated threats. Other threats were reported in Beaverton, Portland and Eugene, and this week a Woodburn High School student was charged with first-degree disorderly conduct after making a bomb threat at Woodburn High School that turned out to be a hoax.
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