Salem-Keizer skipped required school safety drills

A high school student in class (File photo)
A school student in class (File photo)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — All Oregon schools are required to conduct at least two drills on safety threats every year.

The Statesman Journal reports some schools in the Salem-Keizer district don’t. A poll of eight high schools in the district found some did not conduct the drills, one did one lockdown drill and others were unsure whether they complied.

McKay High School is just one of those in the district that admitted they did not conduct the lockdown drills during the past school year.

The law was passed in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The shooting at Reynolds High School last week was cut short, authorities said, by an immediate police response and school resource officers inside the building.

“It’s very clear that Reynolds High School had done practice drills,” said Rep. Betty Komp, a Democrat from Woodburn who sponsored House Bill 2789.

Komp is a former principal and school administrator.

“Our first and foremost job is student safety and to make sure our staff is safe at all times,” she said, adding she “was surprised” about the Salem-Keizer schools.

Neither the principal at McKay High School nor the district superintendent were available to speak with KOIN 6 News. But spokesperson Karma Krause said, “I think when we’re aware of a problem we always work hard to solve it.”

“We’re looking into the why reason,” she said, “but what I can tell you is that next year we’re going to fix this.”

Earlier this school year, KOIN 6 News was inside a Beaverton elementary school when it went into a lockdown. The kids knew exactly what to do.

Komp said “absolutely” the school district should be in charge of making sure all the schools are compliant state law.

The Salem-Keizer promises to have protocol in place for the upcoming school year.

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