McMinnville School District, police take precautionary safety steps
The McMinnville School District and Police Department want to quell rumors related to the high school in hopes of assuring the community and parents that a safe environment exists in all district schools.
Present efforts include heightened security practices to increase vigilance surrounding access to schools by visitors.
As part of these enhanced security measures, after school activities for elementary and middle school students are cancelled today and Tuesday. Tonight's high school choir concert and boys' varsity basketball game will take place. A high school band concert scheduled Tuesday will also take place. Additional security will be present at both events.
The district would like to provide the following explanations of the difference between a school “lockdown” and enhanced security measures.
A school would implement a lockdown if an imminent threat of harm existed on or near school grounds. It would include locked and darkened classrooms, no student passing from class to class, potentially hiding within a classroom, and no entrance or exit from any space without an all clear notice by appropriate school or law enforcement personnel.
Heightened security includes reduced non-structured activities, reduced visitor access to the school and classroom doors locked during classes. Students still carry on a regular school schedule.
The district routinely practices safety drills including lockdown, fire, shelter in place and earthquake drills. The police department plans for and practices contingency responses for a variety of hazards, including active shooters in any potential business, school and entertainment venue.
Police are working with the school district to ensure the safety of students. The police also have direct radio communication with the district and schools. In addition, the school resource officer and patrol officers are frequenting all of the schools and checking in with staff and administration on a regular basis.
There were some safety concerns brought forward by parents and community members this morning related to some Facebook posts about potential threats to the high school based on their children’s Facebook pages. Many of the postings referenced school shootings and some named Mac High in the postings.
During the investigation, officers made contact with several of the known Facebook account holders. One of the account holders was identified as a 17-year-old male who lives on West Second Street. Based on information he posted on his Facebook account and on the follow-up investigation, he was charged with one count of first-degree disorderly conduct. He is a former Mac High student who no longer is enrolled in school.
He was issued a citation to appear in court and released to a family member.
Anyone with information or questions related to this case is asked to call officer Robert Harmon at 503-434-7307.