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Oregon School Officials Emphasize Safety As Students Return

Public school students in many parts of Oregon head to classrooms Wednesday. School leaders are sending out messages about safety, as many schools re-open for the first time since the school shootings in Connecticut.

In his January message, Oregon’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Rob Saxton says that the state’s children are safer in schools than almost anywhere else. But his message emphasizes that adults and children have a role in that safety, saying “our greatest protection against this type of violence is a network of trust and vigilance.”

Some Oregon school districts that were still operating after the Connecticut shootings canceled classes last month in the face of rumors, threats, and student anxiety.

Saxton’s message doesn’t mention specifics. It does call for, “systems… to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies of all kinds.”

Portland Public school officials are emphasizing that all visitors sign in and that staff lock the side and back doors to their buildings. The North Clackamas school superintendent is launching a school safety task force this month.