Local School Safety Plans in Place

EUGENE, Ore. — The 4J School District says a fatal shooting like the one that happened near Churchill High School Wednesday is rare, but it must be prepared, which is why it always has a plan.

School district officials say they work to make sure their schools are some of the safest places anyone could be in an emergency. That’s why they train everyone to respond to situations like this.

While the shooting was on their minds, students and staff at Churchill returned to school Thursday feeling grateful for the preparation.

“Me and my boyfriend were up at his house, and we heard a bunch of sirens going off. It was really crazy, and it was scary…We’re from Eugene and I never hear about gunfire being open,” said Churchill senior Jamica Anderson.

The concern was just as rampant within the classrooms. Just minutes before school was let out, the principal put the school on a modified lockdown.

“They pulled me in and I was sitting there and they locked out and I was in a freshman class and they didn’t know what to do so they were kind of freaking out,” said Churchill junior Antonio Campos.

Staff members say while they were scared, they were ready for the uncertainty and glad to have had an officer on site dealing with everything that was going on.

“Every year SROs (school resource officers) in every school go through that policy as a part of a required mandated training. In the event of an unfortunate situation, we know what to do,” said Morgan Christensen, Churchill Assistant Principal.

“I think it helps having officers that are familiar with the school that can help guide people in properly or show people where to go to save those few precious moments of time,” said Officer John Savage, EPD Sheldon High School Resource Officer.

“Who knows, he could have gone into our school…so I’m glad that this police officer took care, did his job here at our schools. He was a hero,” Campos said.

We did speak with a parent who said that they had yet to be notified about what happened by the school, but Churchill staff say parents were notified that day via an automated messaging system as well as by an e-mail that was sent out Thursday morning.

The 4J School District says it’s likely contact information just needs to be updated so that parents can be reached in emergencies like this.

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