Bethel School District Eugene OR

School Safety Update

In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Florida, we would like to assure you that the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority.

All of our staff at Willamette have been trained in how to respond in the event of an Active Shooter on campus. In the past five years, we have had several safety drills in our school, and we were already planning another safety training with students and staff to occur in the coming weeks.

The importance that we all play in keeping our school safe cannot be underestimated. If you see or hear something- online or otherwise – please say something to a trusted adult at school. It is our responsibility as members of our community to report concerns that we may become aware of.

Together we can work to keep our school community safe.

WHS counselors and administrators are available to meet with students or staff now, or in the coming days as needed for support.

We are a strong community and a proud Wolverine Nation.

2 Responses to School Safety Update

  • I was just wondering if you could be more specific about what kind of training staff has received. Thank you

    • Hi Erin,
      Thanks for asking about the school safety training we’ve received.
      Back in 2014 Bethel was the first district in the area – and perhaps the first in Oregon – to have all staff trained in the ALICE procedures (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.) The updated protocols in ALICE are recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and more. This strategy empowers staff and students with more options during a life-threatening emergency, the kind we all hope never happens.

      Prior to adopting the ALICE protocol our lockdown procedures involved our staff locking classroom and office doors, moving all students to a part of the room where they could not be seen (as much as possible), where they quietly remained until an announcement was given that indicated the event had passed. The philosophy of ALICE is to use communication so that staff and students can make informed decisions in a crisis, including removing as many people as possible from the danger zone if necessary. It encourages active responses like barricading doors to enhance safety in a major emergency.

      Our district initially implemented ALICE training for all staff including practice lockdown drills (with staff only) to tighten our procedures before introducing it to students. The last two years we included students in the training, introducing them to the protocol with different discussions and videos appropriate for students at the elementary and secondary levels.

      Each time we train we learn what further improvements need to be made. We have also learned that increased communication during a lockdown is a positive change. Many teachers and parents report that this simple change in procedure greatly reduced the level of anxiety for both students and parents.

      Willamette will be re-training all WHS students in the ALICE protocol during a lockdown drill in March. Following the drill our staff will solicit questions from students to further understand what changes we must make to continue improving safety for all students. We also intend to continue sharing our plans with you as we work together to ensure a safe school environment.

      We also encourage students that if they see something, say something. Most of the school shooters have told someone or hinted at their intentions before the shooting started.

      I hope this answers your questions. We want families to be secure in the knowledge that we are actively taking measures to keep our students and staff safe.

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