Oregon Schools safety discussion

Oregon Schools safety discussion

OREGON, OH (WTOL) - School safety is worrying parents across the country right now.

Monday night, Oregon City Schools and local law enforcement agencies worked on addressing those concerns about the district.

The library at Clay High School was a room full of worried parents, teachers and students, some even without ties to the district.

One mother stood up at the meeting saying it was terrifying to her she could walk into Clay High School Monday night without needing buzzed in, or anyone asking why she was there..

Many concerns, such as that mother's, were brought up during the meeting and school district leaders, as well as law enforcement, did their best to address everything the best that they could.

Oregon City Schools Superintendent Hal Gregory knows there isn't one answer to all of these safety concerns, he just wants ideas on where they can improve.

"The idea of keeping our students, staff, and visitors safe is critical," Superintendent Gregory said.

"Everybody is kind of holding their breath wanting to know when the next one is going to be, and where it's going to be, we hope it's not here but it could very well be here in Oregon, Ohio," Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre admits.

A group of Clay students came to Monday's meeting.

A few spoke to other students before the meeting about safety. Some admit they do not feel safe, because they do not hear about what is going on.

"Obviously with all of the threats going on it scares me that we might not get word of a threat and then it actually happens," Clay High School Freshman Emily Kellison explained.

The district has three Oregon police officers devoted to its schools full time, but even with resources at student's fingertips, neighbors want more answers.

Some standing up saying teachers should be armed, others advocating for metal detectors, and some simply stating the conversation needs to continue.

Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre agrees, the discussion does not end Monday night.

"We have to continue to talk, that discussion needs to occur at home between the parent and the child, it needs to happen in the classroom among the students, between the teachers, the school resource officers," Chief Navarre said.

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach is a Clay High School mom and an educational psychologist. She has helped start a program at Oregon called the Student Review and Consultation Committee, discussing how they can help students who seem troubled.

Dr. Pescara-Kovach says they are not trying to profile students but the prevention piece is key.

"We really need to focus attention on why they want to bring a gun to school and how we are treating one another," Dr. Pescara-Kovach explained. "Every single piece is equally important."

Dr. Pescara-Kovach has high praise for Oregon City Schools, saying after studying school shootings for 20 years, she has never seen a better partnership between police and a district across the country.

She urges other districts to reach out if they have questions.

The school district is working on updating its video security system, by allowing certain administrators and police access to an app, allowing them to see in real time every inch of the district.

Gregory ended the meeting by saying, the discussion does not end at this meeting, but will continue happening.

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