Gladstone officials react to shooting deaths at Texas school
Gladstone's usual school safety precautions remain in place — including locking doors to the outside, practicing lockdown drills and screening each visitor before allowing them to enter a school — following another mass shooting at an American school.
On May 24, an 18-year-old suspect entered Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers. More children and adults were injured in the attack, and some remain in critical condition.
"Our hearts go out to the many families impacted by this violence," said Bob Stewart, Gladstone School District superintendent. "The Gladstone School District has careful threat protocols in place that trained staff follow when we hear about any threat of violence."
Stewart warned parents and families that the Texas event may stir up fears and emotions in children. He recommended limiting children's exposure to repetitive, disturbing TV coverage of the tragedy, which can help protect students from getting anxious.
"If your child is having a hard time dealing with their feelings, please contact their teacher or counselor for help," Stewart said.
Gladstone teachers and administrators are trained to first contact police when hearing of a potential safety threat.
"We immediately make sure that the potential threat is halted, and then quickly move forward with an in-depth investigation in close collaboration with police, social services and juvenile services," Stewart said.
Gladstone Administrator Jacque Betz wrote a statement on behalf of the Gladstone City Council and city staff.
"Our hearts are broken over the unspeakable tragedy in Uvalde, Texas," Betz wrote. "We stand in unity with the Gladstone School District and their commitment to keep our children safe. There is no room for these senseless deaths, and we should be outraged and distraught that these avoidable tragedies continue to happen. We will continue to do what we can to protect families in the Gladstone community and the Gladstone Police Department is present and attentive."
Gladstone officials reminded citizens that everyone has a role in preventing violent acts.
"If you see something, say something," Stewart said. "Please make your child aware of the importance of reporting concerns to a trusted adult immediately if they are aware of any possible threat. Thank you for your vigilance in protecting Gladstone students and staff. We share your commitment to keep them safe."
Potential threats should be immediately reported to school staff, police or the 24-hour anonymous SafeOregon tip line at 844-472-3367.
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