Many of you – unfortunately – received a call from our autodialer system around midnight last night. We are very sorry this took place. There was a glitch of some kind with the system and we are in communication with the company that provides the service to determine what went wrong to prevent a re-occurrence. Thank you for your patience.
At Willamette High School we believe in continual growth and improvement. Following every event, from emergency procedures to graduation, we review our practices and procedures to find ways to improve.
After Friday’s lockdown, we felt we should add another layer of communication home to parents. Today, an autodialer call (this is the automated phone call that goes to every home) was sent out at the beginning and the end of the lockdown. We received feedback this afternoon that the autodialer message was appreciated by parents and there are a few adjustments we can make to improve the message.
Parents have asked what they can do to support their students and the school in the event of a lockdown? The two things that would be most helpful and supportive, are not to call the school or text your child until they text you.
Here’s why we ask you to not call the school in a lockdown/emergency situation:
- We use the phone system to communicate critical, timely information with our staff and students. An influx of calls can interfere with our ability to follow our process and potentially puts our safety in peril. When we pick up the phone to make an announcement (or sound the alarm) to staff and students and a parent is on the phone line, our message is delayed. Those moments are critical.
Why can’t I call and text my child in a lockdown?
- First and foremost, in an emergency, our students need to be attending to their safety, and the safety of others.
- We want you to have the facts. As soon as we have information and we know students are safe, we give them an accurate message to share with you.
- Occasionally it takes time to determine the facts. The last thing we want to do is share misinformation that causes unnecessary fear and anxiety.
How can I be certain my child is safe?
- Your child’s safety is our number one priority. We use an abundance of caution as we make decisions to ensure the safety of our students.
- In the event of an emergency, we work closely with the Eugene Police Department.
- All staff are trained in ALICE protocol.
- We will post the most up-to-date, accurate information on the Willamette blog.
Thank you for understanding, as difficult as it is, the importance of allowing us to follow our practices and procedures for the safety of all staff and students at Willamette High School.
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. We count on our community- staff, students, parents- to work together, for safety’s sake.
We wanted to share one more update on today’s events. At the request of Eugene Police a lockdown was called at Willamette High School at 9:56 Wednesday morning. It ended at 10:48.
Students at WHS remained in their classrooms while police searched the campus. There was a report of a person, possibly a student, who might have had a handgun on campus. Police searched throughout the school, interviewed several students, and did not find any evidence of a threat.
Eugene police plan to maintain a presence at Willamette for the remainder of the day.
Thank you for your patience. As of 10:53am, Willamette is no longer in lockdown. Here is an update on what happened: we received a report of a suspicious person on campus. As we investigated this report, we wanted to keep students in their classrooms. We have swept the campus and looked through classrooms and determined the threat is no longer present.
We will return to our normally scheduled classes. 2nd period will be shortened, but lunch and afternoon classes will continue as scheduled.
Thank you for your patience as we investigated.
An update on what we are doing: We received a report of a suspicious person on campus. While we follow all leads, the school remains in a lockdown as we finalize our investigation. As soon as our investigation is complete, we will release students to breakfast and return to the next class period (which will be shortened).
Again, please refrain from calling or coming to the school. We want to remain focused on the investigation until it is complete. We will update shortly.