Oregon schools talk safety with community - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Oregon schools talk safety with community

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The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has local parents and school districts taking a closer look at school safety.

"Your heart goes out to all of those people and the only thing you can think is what if it was my kid," Ryan Huntermark, a parent of two said.

Thursday, Oregon City Schools and police met with the community to talk about security.  For the last four years, the ALICE program has been in place district wide.  It stands for Alert, Lock down, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.  Essentially it teaches students and staff how to survive using everyday items around them.

"Using all of those things in their environment to ensure they can either evacuate or to combat the suspect," Officer Tim Clod, School Resource Officer said.

School leaders and the Oregon Police Department say there is no full proof way to keep a gunman from getting into the building.  But here in Oregon, they have taken precautions.  Not only do they have three school resource officers, they also have 170 surveillance cameras that are linked directly to the police department.

All door leading outside the buildings are always locked and almost every building requires visitors to be buzzed in.

"We can definitely make steps forward to make it more difficult for these things to happen here," Officer Mcleod said.

Many parents feel good about what's already in place and only suggested minor changes.

Some asked about arming teachers or staff, something several other local districts are considering.  School leaders say it's been brought up.

But, Board President, PJ Kapfhammer said, "We're no where near discussing handguns in the classroom in Oregon schools."

School leaders did acknowledge there are improvements that can be made, but some of those would require funding. 

13abc reported last week, the board took the first steps to put a renewal levy on the May ballot.  Some board members want to use that money to upgrade safety features. 

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