Security Debates Are Prompted By Recent Shootings Nearby Portland Schools

Shootings Nearby Portland Schools: A trend of gun violence outside of Portland’s high schools has prompted discussions between school and police authorities. There has been no announcement of any concrete plans. Since October, five high school students at a Portland school have been shot at in four separate instances near the school. Authorities have not made any connections between the violence and motives consistent with those of school shooters.

Security Debates Are Prompted By Recent Shootings Nearby Portland Schools

The gunfire outside of Jefferson, Cleveland, and Franklin high schools has resulted in no fatalities. In October, two students were wounded outside Jefferson, and in each following incident, a single student was hurt.

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This Monday, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero released a statement in which she expressed satisfaction that no one was critically harmed in the Franklin High shooting, which took place outside during a basketball game, and that a suspect had been caught. In order to reduce gun violence in Portland, Oregon, Guerrero is advocating for a “complete community safety strategy” that prioritizes the protection of children as well as adults.

Security Debates Are Prompted By Recent Shootings Nearby Portland Schools
Security Debates Are Prompted By Recent Shootings Nearby Portland Schools

This week, Guerrero said that efforts to increase patrols in the area immediately around schools will be accelerated by collaborating with the City.

Officials from the district have indicated that more details about the ongoing security measures may be released this week.

Since Monday, neither the Portland Public Schools nor the Portland Police Bureau has issued any remarks on additional security measures.

Prior to the latest incident in Portland, the concept of reinstating police presence in the city’s schools was discussed during a meeting of the Focused Intervention Team Community Oversight Group.

Lt. Kenneth Duilio mentioned the possibility of reinstating a school resource officer during the meeting on January 5. Since its inception this year, Duilio has been leading the Focused Intervention Team, an initiative to minimize gun violence in the city.

“I just know there have been some talks based on the incidences around Jefferson High School and then the other shooting that happened over at Cleveland High School,” Duilio added. Also, “that’s basically up to the [police] chief’s level with the PPS Superintendent.”

A school resource officer is a police officer whose job is to maintain order and safety within a school. In the aftermath of the 2020 racial justice demonstrations, school districts around the country, including Portland, agreed to withdraw such police from their classrooms.

The mayor’s director of community safety, Stephanie Howard, made it clear during the January meeting that no decision had been made to revive the school resource officer program and that any shift in policy would be made “absolutely, with community participation.”

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Overviewing what is known about school resource officers, the nonprofit newspaper Education Week notes that studies have indicated that such officers typically penalize Black and Hispanic pupils at higher rates than white kids. However, if Portland were to rethink its decision to withdraw such police from schools, it wouldn’t be alone. Pomona, California, Alexandria, Virginia, and Champaign, Illinois are just a few of the cities that have decided against eliminating school resource police.

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