Oregon Legislature Requires Parents to Be Notified in School Emergencies
On Wednesday(March 29, 2023), the Oregon House unanimously approved a measure mandating electronic means to notify parents and guardians during a school-related emergency. The School Emergency Notices Act requires that schools and school districts inform parents of the circumstances leading to the action, the duration, and the resolution of the problem.
Rep. Ricki Ruiz (D-Gresham), the bill’s principal chief sponsor, stated, “As a new father, I can’t fathom the pain, fear, and heartache parents of school-age children feel when they face the uncertainty of a safety issue at their children’s school.”
Ruiz added, “as our students continue to experience g*n violence in schools and across our nation, parents and guardians deserve transparency and communications in these unimaginable situations. That’s why I introduced the School Emergency Notifications Act with an emergency. It is imperative that this is implemented in Oregon as soon as possible.”
According to a tweet, an urgent need to approve an Oregon measure requiring parents to be contacted in the case of a lockdown has arisen in the wake of the massacre in Nashville-
Today's shooting in Nashville is causing an urgency to get an Oregon bill passed that requires parents be notified in the event of a lockdown.
"Our bill does not address the violence and what is going on in our nation, but it does address communication," said Rep. Ricki Ruiz,… pic.twitter.com/G4GUe20KZG
— Emily Girsch (@EmilyGirsch) March 27, 2023
The law, approved by the House of Representatives on a voice vote, will now be debated in the Senate. Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon, went into lockdown in February after a sh**ting occurred nearby. The measure was submitted on the same day.
Franklin High School and Atkinson Elementary School tightened security after reports of g*nfire in the area. The school phoned 911 after hearing what they thought were g*nshots and issued a “secure the perimeter” warning “to be safe.”
No teachers or children were hurt, according to Portland Public Schools. A parent of a Franklin High School sophomore said she had no idea what was going on until her daughter informed her.
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A PPS representative had earlier informed that an email telling parents of the issue at Franklin High School was sent out promptly. Some parents, however, ignored the emails and missed essential updates.
In a statement, PPS said they communicate “to families within hours after an incident, such as a lockdown. The proposed bill essentially requires schools to do what is already being done. We would be very appreciative of a bill that focuses on reducing g*n violence in our community, as opposed to legislation on how we should react to it. We remain committed to student and staff safety and will continue to work with city, county, and state leaders on this topic.”