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Superintendent Smith says PPS has ramped up security measures

(Image is Clickable Link) WIKIPEDIA - Grant High School in Portland, Oregon.

Grant High School and two campuses of the Beverly Cleary K-8 School in Northeast Portland went through a lockdown after ultimately unsubstantiated reports of two men carrying rifles through nearby Grant Park.

According to a Wednesday email from Grant Cluster Senior Director Karl Logan to the Grant High School cluster community, “a large number of police officers responded immediately and fanned out in the park and surrounding neighborhood. They were unable to find anyone matching the descriptions. Police also began receiving reports that the men may have been carrying air guns (such as used for paint ball) or some other object, such as scooters, that looked like weapons.”

Logan said Grant High School and the adjacent Fernwood and Hollyrood schools went into a precautionary lockdown after the 12:40 p.m. initial reports.

“No question, Tuesday's experience was unsettling. It also became an opportunity to practice our emergency response systems and identify any gaps,” Logan wrote. “One area we will look at is the need to clarify between schools on split campuses which campuses need to lock down. Another is to consider broader communication with a high school cluster when many schools are in the nearby area.”

Logan also referenced the next text messaging system rolled out Sept. 1 to notify guardians immediately of such issues. He explained that administrators chose not to use the system because there ultimately wasn’t a need to pick up children.

Superintendent Carole Smith also sent out a message Wednesday noting her sorrow over the Umpqua Community College shooting and advising vigilance.

Smith also listed several efforts PPS has made to prepare a response to a possible active shooter. These include:

  • Stricter adherence to annual drill requirements for lockdowns, earthquakes and fires.
  • Installation of a $1.4 million video security system to K-5, K-8 and middle schools.
  • Key card access at all schools with plans to include them in the high school remodels.
  • A mandatory emergency management training last August for school administrators.

  • Shasta Kearns Moore
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