VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark County deputies arrested a student at Skyview High School Tuesday in just one of five incidents involving threats or weapons at schools that have happened in Oregon and Southwest Washington schools in the last week.
“It is kind of surprising, but I’m glad they got the guy fast and nobody got hurt -- that’s the important thing,” said Cheryl Monahan who lives just a few hundred feet away from Skyview High School. Her kids graduated from the school.
In a statement, Vancouver Public Schools attributed the quick and peaceful resolution to a prompt reporting of the threat.
"We are grateful to the person who reported this student to school administrators immediately. Their assistance allowed us to act quickly to remove the student and weapon from our campus," the district said.
On Thursday, May 26, a student brought an unloaded gun to Heritage High School. In response to that, Superintendent of Evergreen Public Schools John Boyd said in a statement: "I want to make you aware of an incident at Heritage High School today in which our staff confiscated an unloaded gun from a student. Though I know this situation might be alarming, I thought it was important to share this information and how our staff and law enforcement responded. Heritage staff quickly identified the student and confiscated the weapon from a backpack. Clark County Sheriff’s Office and district security were called and began their investigation. No students or staff were harmed ... Especially after the tragic shooting in Texas this week, I know incidents like this are highly concerning. Please know we take these situations very seriously, and the safety of our students and staff is a priority."
Boyd acknowledged how concerning an incident like this could be happening so soon after the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead. And he wasn't the only one to acknowledge this.
After North Salem High School went into lockdown last Friday in response to reports of a suspicious person on campus with a gun, Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack said in a statement: “The recent horrific shooting in Texas has our students, parents, and community on edge, understandably. We want our community to know that we are prepared and ready to keep our school campuses safe, as exemplified by today’s rapid response.”
Then on Monday. Vancouver police arrested a minor after they allegedly made threats against Wy'East Middle School on social media.
"Reporting any threats quickly to law enforcement and the schools allows us to work quickly to start checking social media, with friends and family etc. to determine the person’s whereabouts, whether there is the possibility they can carry out the threats, and if there is evidence of a crime, as there was in yesterday’s incident," Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Kim Kapp said.
In addition to the arrest at Skyview High School, Centennial High School in Gresham was placed on a partial lockdown Tuesday morning after reports of a threat posted online against the school. Police later said there was no threat actually posted.
All these incidents were resolved without anyone getting hurt. But school leaders and law enforcement say it's still important to report any and all threats of violence against schools as soon as possible.