Local News

Schools Operating Normally Following Social Media Threat

REDMOND, OR -- Central Oregon school districts notified families Tuesday morning of a social media post allegedly threatening schools in numerous local cities. According to Redmond Schools officials, "The social media post was traced and found to have originated in Portland, OR." They say it included a photo of a rifle and "a vague message about not going to school." 

Authorities say the threat was not deemed credible and schools are operating as normal. However, in Redmond, police are "providing an extra presence" as a precaution, according to the letter to RSD famillies.  

Redmond Proficiency Academy contacted parents saying, "RPA takes matters of this kind seriously and has been in contact with the Redmond Police Department and other local school districts." But, it noted, "RPA will operate on a regular schedule today."

In a letter to families in Bend-La Pine Schools, the district noted the post did not name any of its schools. 

By Tuesday afternoon, RSD reported lower than normal attendance at its two high schools. The district's Holly Brown said Ridgeview High reported just 54% attendance on the first day back from winter break; Redmond High reported 64%. "I’ve heard anecdotally that our elementary schools had some attendance drops, as well," she added. Numerous parents listed the threat as the reason their child stayed home, "So, it has a pretty big impact on our schools." Those absences are considered excused. 

The incident is the latest in a string of hoax threats to hit Central Oregon and the state. KBND News asked Brown how schools avoid getting complacent, "It would be really hard to be complacent, because they’re going to follow those standard protocols and procedures to investigate every threat." Brown also sits on the Safe Schools Alliance Team, and says online threats are a real concern for districts and law enforcement.

Redmond Schools is now working to reassure parents that every threat is taken seriously and schools are safe, "We also really put a lot of work in with our most recent bond measure, to put in all those security systems with the cameras, the vestibules. So, we have a lot of physical security updates that have happened with our schools lately, that are also reassuring," says Brown, "And then, of course, just that vigilance that we have in our staff and continued training with our law enforcement partners."

 
 

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