Oregon School Safety Task Force Issues Recommendations
Oregon should create an anonymous statewide tip line and a database of school floor plans. Those are some of the recommendations in a report released Wednesday by a task force on school safety.
The Task Force was created by the 2014 legislature. Since then there have been several school shootings in the state. Those include one that took the life of 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman at Reynolds High School in Troutdale.
Emilio's mother, Jennifer Hoffman, spoke at a state capitol press conference where the school safety recommendations were unveiled.
"There's nothing I can do now to bring Emilio back, other than have a new focus on how to help create change so that another family will never have to go through the loss of a child in an act of senseless school violence,” she said.
The task force focused on safety at K-12 schools but members say the recommendations could also be adopted at higher-ed institutions. A shooter last month killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.
The task force was comprised of lawmakers and representatives from the education and law enforcement field. Its four main recommendations:
- Establish an anonymous statewide voice and text tip line. This would serve as a way for classmates or family members to alert law enforcement to a possible impending violent act.
- Create a database of floor plans of school buildings so that first responders can immediately access critical information while responding to an emergency. The task force says there are more than 3,000 school district buildings across the state.
- Create a threat assessment tool so that law enforcement, school district officials and mental health professionals can evaluate possible threats of violence.
- Standardize terminology in order to streamline communication during a crisis. Words like "lockdown" and "lockout" have different meanings, which aren't always clear across different jurisdictions.