PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Schools across the US — including in the Portland metro region — are taking precautions over a disturbing trend on TikTok encouraging students to bring weapons to school on Friday.
All Lake Oswego High School campus buildings went into lockdown on Thursday after a student reported a “message threatening violence” to a teacher, according to the school district.
The high school and junior high buildings were placed in a “secure and hold” and a “secure” mode following the threat. The junior high’s “secure” mode was lifted around 1:30 p.m and about an hour a half later, the high school removed their own “secure and hold” and began to release students.
The school district said no harm occurred but they were “taking every precaution to verify the situation.”
“We’re going to have officers on campus (Friday) and we’re going to be around and we’re communicating with the school and working with them to make sure we have best response for both of our needs and we’re going do what we can to make sure kids stay safe,” said Sgt. Tom Harper with the Lake Oswego Police Department.
Shellie Bailey-Shah with the Beaverton School District told KOIN 6 News that, even though they don’t believe the threat to be credible, they have been in contact with law enforcement agencies, including Beaverton PD and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s not specific. It’s not targeted and at this point we don’t consider it to be credible,” Bailey-Shah said.
Beaverton and several other area districts sent messages to parents on Thursday to put minds at ease. In a letter from Portland Public Schools, district officials told parents they have investigated those threats on social media and don’t find them credible.
Other districts, including Albany and Hillsboro, sent similar messages to families on Thursday.
In Forest Grove, district officials said several high school students on Wednesday received messages with threats about committing an act of violence. The district said they identified and found the student who started the message and turned that investigation over to the police.
The police department will be at the middle and high schools on Friday out of, as the district said, an abundance of caution.
Sgt. Tom Speldrich with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said it’s common for law enforcement to routinely train for active shooters. They prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
“Police officers and deputy sheriffs and state troopers, these types of incidents drive their hearts to get into this career because they want to prevent these things,” Speldrich said. “I can confidently say I don’t believe we will ever become numb to these types of threats. They’re very real. They’re very serious.”
School officials want parents to help curb this trend by talking with their student about how harmful it is to make or spread fake threats.