Bethel School District Eugene OR

School Safety

The safety of our students and staff is Bethel School District’s top priority. Effective education cannot take place in an unsafe environment.

We use an abundance of caution in emergency situations. Sometimes that cautious approach results in a slowing of the information coming to you, but understand that student and staff safety come before communication.

In the event of an emergency, we work closely with the Eugene Police Department, which usually determines what level of detail the district is allowed to share.

We will provide the most up-to-date, accurate information as soon as possible.

 

Emergency Preparedness

Bethel was the first in Oregon to adopt the ALICE safety protocols district-wide. ALICE – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate – focuses on immediate response to emergency situations, effective methods of securing classrooms, clear communications, and empowering options in the event of an armed intruder on campus.

All Bethel staff are trained in ALICE, with three trainings offered each school year. Students are also introduced to the safety procedures with common messaging across all Bethel schools and grade levels

♦  See the scripts used by Primary and Elementary grade teachers, and age-appropriate safety training videos used in the Elementary-level school safety trainings.

♦  Here are the scripts used by middle and high school teachers, and the safety training videos for students in grades 6-12.

Each Bethel school conducts at least two Lockdown drills each school year, along with an Earthquake drill and monthly Fire drills. We review our practices and procedures regularly to determine how to improve our response to emergency situations.

 

Lockdown/Lockout – What to Do

Here is guidance for parents/guardians if a Bethel school goes into Lockdown or Lockout:

♦ PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE SCHOOL. The doors will be locked and only law enforcement will be allowed inside.

♦ Do not call the school during an emergency; staff rarely have an opportunity to answer incoming calls. An influx of calls to a school can interfere with its ability to follow the safety protocol, potentially putting students’ and staff’s safety at risk.

♦ DO check school and district home pages, which will be used to share the facts as they are known. Principals’ blogs are used to post information on school websites and every published post also goes to each family’s registered email addresses.

♦ The district’s Autodialer system may be used to share information my making more than a thousand phone calls in four minutes to parent/guardian phones.

♦ In an emergency, students first need to be attending to their safety and the safety of others. If they are receiving or sending text messages from home, that interferes with their responsibility of listening to their teacher’s directions.

♦ As soon as students are safe and secure and there is factual information to share, middle and high school students will be given an accurate message and encouraged to share it with parents/guardians. This helps loved ones know their children are safe and communicating, and it shares facts rather than rumors or speculation.

♦ The district’s Facebook page will be updated with relevant factual information, but it is unlikely that staff will have an opportunity to reply to questions on Facebook.

Occasionally it takes time to determine the facts. The district wants to avoid sharing misinformation that causes unnecessary fear, anxiety, and frustration, and could put our students and staff at risk.

 

Reunification

In the event of a serious school event like an armed intruder, extended power outage, industrial accident or weather incident, the District may need to reunify students with their parents/guardians. This may need to happen at a location other than the school at which the emergency has taken place, depending on the circumstances. The Lane County Fairgrounds is one potential Reunification site.

Bethel School District has created a Reunification plan. Its goal is to protect students from harm, while reuniting them with their parents/guardians in the most efficient, calm and compassionate manner possible. The district’s plan is portable and flexible enough that it can be quickly set up in unfamiliar locations.

 

What To Expect During a Reunification

Location: The location and time of the Reunification will be shared by the district in every way possible, including the local media.

ID: Parents, Guardians, or Emergency contacts – whomever is picking up the student – must bring legal ID, such as a driver’s license, to the Reunification site.

Check-In: Parents (or Guardians/Emergency contacts) are directed to the Check-In Area where Greeters provide Reunification Cards and pens. Greeters will ask parents to fill out a Reunification Card, which requires the student’s name, grade, teacher, and parent/guardian information. Spanish-speaking staff will be at each step in the Reunification process.

Verification: At the Check-In table, our staff will have a list of the school’s students. Parent/guardian ID will be verified, the Reunification Card will be signed by the staff, and the parent will be directed to take the verified card to the Reunification Area.

Reunification: The parent/guardian will keep the top portion of the card while the bottom portion of the card is detached and given to a Runner. The Runner retrieves the student from the Student Assembly area and escorts the student back to the waiting parent/guardian at the Reunification Area.

Confirmation: Both pieces of the card are stapled together and kept as proof that the student has been reunited with parents/guardians/emergency contacts.

Counseling: Whenever possible there will be a Counseling Room for students waiting in the Assembly Area or for parents/guardians at the Reunification site who need support.

Patience is a virtue at a Reunification site. Know that district staff will be working diligently in what can be an anxiety-ridden situation, and they want nothing more than to quickly reunify students with their families.

 

If You See Something, Say Something

We all play a role in keeping our schools safe. If you hear, read or see something, say something to a trusted adult at the school or to law enforcement. We take every threat seriously and if there is any doubt, we err of the side of caution and involve law enforcement. It is everyone’s responsibility as members of this community to report concerns that may jeopardize the safety of our students and staff.

In addition, SafeOregon is a program created for Oregon students, parents, school staff, community members and law enforcement officers to report and respond to student safety threats. The goal of SafeOregon is to prevent school safety threats from occurring by providing schools and communities with a relevant tool for reporting potential threats. Tips can be submitted in a variety of ways, including email, phone calls, text, the SafeOregon mobile app, and their website. To report a tip, call or text 844-472-3367, or email tip@safeoregon.com

 

Definitions

Lockdown: Initiated when there believed to be a potentially dangerous person on or near campus. Each room in the building is locked and movement between rooms is restricted. Windows are closed and locked, shades are lowered, and lights are turned off. Students are kept away from the doors and windows and out of the sightlines of anyone outside the room. Depending on additional information, those in the building may be prepared to barricade doors or evacuate the building. Students and staff must maintain calm and quiet, waiting for further information, including a message which students can send to their parents. Lockdowns are usually called by the principal or other authority, such as law enforcement. Each staff member has the ability and authority to use the school phones as an intercom to order a Lockout if they see an imminent threat. Students or visitors approaching the school which has been locked down should leave the area immediately.

Lockout: All exterior doors are locked and students are kept in the building, but movement between rooms within the school may be permitted. A Lockout protects students and staff from a potential threat on or near campus when it may be dangerous to go outside. Each staff member has the ability and authority to use the school phones as an intercom to order a Lockout if they see an imminent threat outside the building. Lockouts are most often called by law enforcement who are searching for a person in the immediate area.

Armed Intruder: A situation in which a person (or persons) with a firearm or other weapon is threatening to harm people or is actively engaged in shooting or attempting to shoot or harm people in a confined area. Armed Intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Most such events are over within a few minutes. Because of this, students and staff must be prepared to respond before law enforcement officers arrive on the scene.

ALICE: There are five basic ALICE steps that may be implemented in an Armed Intruder situation:

     ♦ Alert: Inform as many people as possible within the danger zone that a potentially life threatening situation exists

     ♦ Lockdown: Lock room doors, close the window blinds, turn off the lights, and be prepared to barricade the doors

     ♦ Inform: If possible, communicate the intruder’s description and most recent location via the intercom, text, phone or email

     ♦ Counter (fight): If confronted, use disruptive actions that create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the intruder’s ability to shoot or do harm with accuracy. This may include running, screaming, and throwing items such as fire extinguishers, chairs, books, water bottles, or whatever is available. To survive and protect others from harm, a person or group may need to incapacitate the shooter by using aggressive force.

     ♦ Evacuate: Evacuate the building by running away from the intruder when it’s believed to be safe to do so.

During an armed intruder situation, staff may not have all of the information they need to make a fully-informed decision about which ALICE response option is best. While staff should follow instructions given by law enforcement or school staff during an incident, they may have to rely on their own judgment to decide which option will best protect lives.

Dangerous or Suspicious Person: This could be someone near the school, an unauthorized visitor, or even someone with a legitimate purpose to be on campus (student, staff, authorized visitor.) Examples include a report of a person possibly carrying a weapon on or near campus, or a visibly angry parent who bypasses the school office in an attempt to confront or contact a student or staff member.