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Important Message: Superintendent Castañeda On School Safety

Important Message about School Safety


Video message from Superintendent Castañeda on YouTube.

Salem-Keizer Students, Families and Staff,

Yesterday and today were stressful for many students, staff, and families in the Salem-Keizer community. Yesterday, students and staff at South Salem High School experienced a significant lockdown connected to off-campus violence. We worked in full coordination with the Salem Police Department throughout the day and night.

This morning, we received an initially small number of tips and reports of threats. As is always the case, we thoroughly investigated the threats in conjunction with law enforcement. The original small number was duplicated and recirculated. The exponential rate at which the original threats spread throughout the community contributed to anxiety and fear.

Through all this, several things have been steady and true. First, our team prioritizes student safety above all other issues. Second, our safety protocols worked: impacted schools moved in and out of lockdown status based on conditions. Third, our district’s robust and highly-trained team maintained our district emergency operations center and worked closely with our law enforcement partners to monitor and respond.

Events like the ones we went through this week are scary. I commend our students, parents and community members who quickly reported all concerns to us. This reporting helped us immediately investigate and engage our district safety systems and local law enforcement partners.

I want to remind everyone of a few key things that you can do to help keep our schools safe:

  • If you receive or see a threat online, please do not share or forward the threat online or through social media. Sharing unconfirmed threats spreads misinformation and causes panic. Instead, notify law enforcement, school officials, or SafeOregon immediately.
  • School safety is serious. Talk to your students about safety and the grave consequences of their decisions, even if they are jokes.

This week has been extremely difficult for our Salem-Keizer community. We will continue to partner together to support our young people and protect the safety and wellbeing of each other both in and outside of our classrooms.

Superintendent Castañeda