PORTLAND, Ore. - In light of the horrific school shooting in Connecticut on Friday, a Portland Public Schools official said local schools have plans in place for emergencies.
"Every school has an emergency response plan that is tailored for each individual building," Matt Shelby, spokesman with Portland Public Schools said on Friday.
"It's a "multi-hazard" plan that covers both man-made emergencies and natural emergencies. The actual plans are not available on-line for obvious reasons," Shelby said.
Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, issued a statement Friday morning regarding school safety and the tragedy in Connecticut. "Nothing is more important than they safety of our students while they are in our care and I know the teachers and administrators in our schools take this responsibility incredibly seriously."
"I have been in contact with our schools this morning to ensure we are all doing a thorough review of our safety procedures and precautions to make sure we are doing everything humanly possible to keep our kids safe," Saxton said. Read his full statement | Statement from Gov. Kitzhaber
Shelby said each Portland school has a designated place where kids and staff go after an evacuation and procedures are in place to bring parents and students together after any incident. There is also a secondary site if the first one isn't available.
Portland Public Schools also has a system in place for instant alerts, including twitter and text messages, if an emergency arises, Shelby said.
He advises parents to make sure schools have current contact information, especially a phone number, on file where their children attend.
He said the school has online resources for emergency preparedness that is getting ongoing updates.
Shelby also said all classrooms have emergency "Go-Kits" that include First Aid kits, water, toilet supplies, a flashlight and other items.
"I know I speak for many when I say I am deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy. It is hard to think about harm coming to any child, let alone the magnitude of what we saw today. As a father, an educator, and a citizen, I grieve for those we lost and for their families, classmates, and teachers. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this horrible event.
"Tragedies like this make us all understandably concerned about the safety of our own schools and our own students. Nothing is more important than they safety of our students while they are in our care and I know the teachers and administrators in our schools take this responsibility incredibly seriously. I have been in contact with our schools this morning to ensure we are all doing a thorough review of our safety procedures and precautions to make sure we are doing everything humanly possible to keep our kids safe.
"To the students, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook Elementary - we send our deepest sympathies during this terrible time."
"There aren't enough words to express my sorrow for the people of Newtown, Connecticut, or my anger that someone would deliberately hurt children. Oregonians have had to come together over tragedy this week, and we come together now to send our profound condolences to the families and victims of Newtown. I support the President's call for meaningful action, regardless of politics."