Under a 2013 state law, Oregon schools are required to conduct safety threat drills twice a year. Last week the news broke that some Oregon schools — including many in Salem-Keizer, the state’s second largest school district — were not performing them. The law does not clarify what constitutes as a safety threat but does make the distinction between fire, earthquake and tsunami drills. A lockdown could qualify as a safety drill.
The bill was passed by the Oregon State Legislature in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut and at Clackamas Town Center in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Education confirmed there is no reporting requirement for schools, but the expectation is that local school districts would enforce the law. In light of these new revelations, however, Rep. Betty Komp (D-Woodburn) is drafting a new bill that would require schools to report the completion of these drills to the state.
Are you a parent or an educator in Oregon? What is your reaction to the news?
- Betty Komp: Oregon State Representative (D-Woodburn)
- Michael Mahoney: Safe & Healthy Schools Coordinator at the Oregon Department of Education