Parents Look for Upgrades in School Safety

Since the shootings in Parkland last month, the discussion surrounding school safety has been led by the surviving students and their peers across the country, but it’s not just the students who are joining the conversation.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with a local parent who’s voicing her concerns about the safety of students in Bend, and what she’s hoping Bend-La Pine Schools will do to address them.

Lisa Carton also sits down with Bend-La Pine School District’s Deputy Superintendent Jay Mathisen to see how the district is reacting to these requests from students and parents.

Bend-La Pine School Officials Weigh Options for Protecting Staff and Students on Campus

With thousands of students speaking out Wednesday on National Walkout Day in Bend and across the country, Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton sat down with a member of the Bend-La Pine School District to discuss the challenges facing school administrators and teachers as they try to keep our students safe on campus.

Bend Students Plan to Walkout

Bend Teenagers Organizing a Wednesday Walkout to Pay Tribute to Parkland High School Shooting Victims

Wednesday has been declared “National Walkout Day” by students across the country who want to pay tribute to the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida High School shootings by walking out of their classrooms for 17 minutes on the one-month anniversary of the tragedy.

How to Assess School Threats

Deschutes County District Attorney Talks About Challenges of Preventing Crimes Before they Happen

It’s been a tumultuois year for students across Bend. La-Pine schools, with multiple threats investigated during the last six months. Currently, there are no specific state laws classified as felonies that address those that make actual threats before they carry them out.

Bend La-Pine School Superintendent Shay Mikalson issued a call to action after the threats made in February. Mikalson, as well as Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, also backed a proposal from state senator Tim Knopp which would’ve made threats of violence a felony.

That proposal was shot down due to concerned over concerns that it infringed on freedom of speech.

Right now, prosecutors in Oregon can only consider menacing, disorderly conduct and harassment charges in order to prosecute individuals who make threats and that only allows misdemeanor charges. Next year in Salem, the hope is to finally create a law that addresses those that make threats before they carry them out.

Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton sat down with Hummel to talk about the challenges he and law enforcement face to try to assess those threats.

Student Arrested for School Threats

15-Year Old Arrested After Making Threats Against La-Pine High School

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Oregon deputies arrested a 15-year old boy on Wednesday for making threats against La-Pine High School. 
The student who made the threats is in custody at the Deschutes County Juvenile Justice Facility facing three counts of disorderly conduct.
Authorities say that a student approached a school resource officer at La Pine High School around 7:30 this morning to tell the officer of the threat.
The deputy was able to locate and remove the suspect and found out that this was not the first time that the 15-year-old had made threats against the school.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputies will provide an increased presence at all of La-Pine’s schools on Thursday.

On to the Playoffs


The Summit High School Storm went on the road for their play-in game on Wednesday night and upset Parkrose 55-54 to advance to the First Round of the OSAA 5A Basketball Playoffs on Saturday.
With the Storm’s victory, there will be three IMC teams in the 5A Boys Playoffs – Summit, Bend and Mountain View High School

The Bend Senior High boys beat St. Helen’s 65-42 in a home play-in game on Wednesday night.
A slow start for both teams ended with an 11-10 deficit for Bend at he end of the first quarter, but the Lava Bears used a 20-8 second quarter to take a 30-19 halftime lead, and they never looked back.
Justin Kerr had 20 points including four 3-pointers, and Brian Warriner has 18 points to lead the Lava Bears.
Bend advances to the first round of the OSAA 5A basketball playoffs on Saturday.

In Girls Basketball news the matchups were set for 5A Girls Basketball Playoffs.

Oregon School Activities Association has released the matchups for the First Round of the 5A Girls Basketball Playoffs on Friday.
The Bend Lava Bears will host Lebanon, while the Ridgeview High School (Redmond, Oregon) Ravens will go on the road to play at Springfield.
Both games tip-off at 6pm.


Playoff Picture

High School Basketball Playoffs Tip-Off This Week

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom takes a look at the playoffs in high school basketball with several games on tap over the next few days.
Here is the full 5A and 4A playoff schedule for boys and girls:

Boys 5A Play-In Games


St. Helens at Bend 5:30pm
Summit at Parkrose 6pm

Girls 5A Play-in Games


Putnam at Ridgeview TBA
Summit at Hillsboro 5pm

Girls 4A Playoff Game


#9 Valley Catholic at #8 Madras 6:30pm

Boys 4a Playoff Games


#16 Madras at #1 Banks 3pm
#9 Henley at #8 Sisters 5pm

Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Calls for New Measures to Protect Students

Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson sent out a letter to parents and students on Monday afternoon, calling for new laws to protect teachers and students at schools.

In the letter, Mikalson asks lawmakers to:
1) Create a new crime in Oregon of “terroristic threat” at a felony level.
2) Fund threat assessment teams to provide threat assessments to youth in crisis.
3) Extend the maximum detention from 36 hours to 10 days for misdemeanor charges filed against youth with weapons offenses or who have made threats against others.
The letter comes a week after a 16-year-old boy was arrested for making threats against unspecified threats against students at Bend Senior High School.


Here is the letter from Shay Mikalson in full:
February 26, 2018

Greetings Bend-La Pine Schools Community,

Last week I shared with you a few of the ways that our schools are working to ensure physical and emotional safety at our schools. Today, I want to share with you the ways that you can join me in these efforts. By acting together, we can exponentially increase our positive impact as we continue to advocate for the safe learning environments our students and staff deserve.

Urge Lawmakers to Create New Laws
Please join me in urging our elected official to create new laws that immediately help to improve school and community safety throughout Oregon. Our elected officials are receiving many big asks right now, so I have identified three that I believe are easy to implement now, during their short session.

I am asking lawmakers to:
1. Create a new crime in Oregon of terroristic threat at a felony level.
2. Fund threat assessment teams to provide threat assessments to youth in crisis.
3. Extend maximum detention from 36 hours to 10 days for misdemeanor charges filed against youth with weapons offenses or who have made threats against others.

I sent messages to our state representatives and senators this morning urging their support of these school and community safety efforts that I believe must be moved to law during the current short session. You can see these letters and learn more about these asks at

Secure Weapons, Pills from Children
I plead that you take a moment to secure weapons and pills in your homes in ways that do not allow access to children. It is important to understand that everyone experiences tough times. During these tough times, it may be best to give your weapons or pills to a friend for safekeeping. Temporarily holding pills, a gun, knife or other weapon for a loved one or friend can help that person get through stressful periods safely. It is a temporary step until things get better.

Additionally, our friends at the Bend Police Department are offering free cable locks. Just drop by their main office to pick one or more up for your home, office or vehicle. Locking up weapons may also reduce the number of stolen guns in our community. On average, in Bend alone, at least one weapon is stolen out of an unlocked vehicle each week. Imagine how – by working together ‑ we could reduce this number dramatically and keep weapons out of the hands of our youth.

Facility Safety Improvements, Including Secure Lobbies
In 2014, we hired an international expert on school safety and his team to assess our school safety practices and to assess our facilities and provide architectural observations. You may have noticed many changes that we have made since this time, including requiring visitors enter through main entries, requiring visitors and volunteers to check-in and out of our schools, locking exterior doors, improvements in exterior lighting and many other efforts.

This assessment suggested the addition of secure lobbies at all of our schools. We successfully piloted a secure lobby design at several school sites before asking voters to fund the construction of secure lobbies at all schools in 2017. Thanks to your overwhelming support of the May 2017 construction bond, work to deliver secure lobbies at our schools is currently underway. The work at the more than 20 school sites was previously planned through the bond to occur over the next four summer construction seasons.

I have been meeting with teams to evaluate how we can speed up this work and we have made a decision to accelerate our schedule. By allowing construction to happen in our schools during the school year, rather than just during the summer months, the work to secure our lobbies will be expedited. As we work through the logistics of the accelerated secure lobby schedule, we will continue to keep families updated.

Visible Visitors, Volunteers and Staff
Until these lobbies are complete, we are making efforts to ensure visibility of visitor access through improved line of sight on entries and diligent supervision. You, too, can help ensure a safer school environment by always checking into our main offices for permission to visit and wearing proper identification. You can also help by sending anyone without proper identification – including our staff – to the Human Resources office for a visitor badge or replacement staff badge.

Counselors and Support Staff

This school year, we added additional counselors to our secondary schools. We currently have more than 30 counselors who meet with students each day at our middle and high schools. In addition, schools have psychologists who provide student support and advocacy at all elementary, middle and high schools. We also employ two full-time therapists who support our highest needs students at our schools in Bend, La Pine and Sunriver.

We staff schools in ways that ensure students have access to mental and behavioral health support at school with the funding available. We could do even more with better support from our legislature. If this is something you are passionate about, I ask that you contact your elected officials to make increased funding available for the hiring of additional positions to support our students’ social and emotional health needs.

Planning, Prevention, Intervention and Response
Safe schools are fundamental to students’ school successes and achievements. Providing a safe and orderly school environment is an ever-present priority of Bend-La Pine Schools. Here, school safety is addressed through a comprehensive approach that focuses on planning, prevention, intervention and response. Systems and programs are in place that create caring school communities where students and staff feel safe and supported. Bend-La Pine Schools is committed to ensuring psychologically safe, healthy learning environments. You can learn more about these efforts by visiting our Emergency Preparedness webpage and our Student Mental Health webpage.

I am thankful for you, our wonderful Bend-La Pine Schools community. Thank you for caring for and supporting not only our students but each other.


Shay Mikalson, Superintendent Bend-La Pine Schools

Bend Police Make Arrest due to School Threat

In a press release posted on Thursday night, Bend Police said they have arrested a 16-year-old Bend Senior High School student due to a tip from Deschutes County 911 regarding a potential threat to the school.

On February 21st at 3:40pm police received information about a Bend-La Pine Student who was possibly making threats towards Bend Senior High School. The information alleged that the 16-year-old made statements about his desire to shoot several unspecified students at Bend Senior High School. The threats were made over a popular social media platform.

Bend Police Officers investigated and obtained enough information to believe the student’s intent was to harm students at Bend Senior High School and that he had the means to attempt a shooting in his home though they were not readily accessible to him.

Officers went to the student’s residence in southeast Bend and he was taken into custody and transported to St. Charles Bend, where a mental health evaluation was conducted. The student was released and lodged at the Deschutes County Juvenile Department on the charge of Disorderly Conduct I.

Police are asking anyone who may have information regarding to this specific case to contact the Bend Police Department at 541-693-6911.

Police have investigated three threats against schools in the last nine days but this was the first deemed credible.

“The past week has been emotional and challenging for communities throughout the United States,” said Bend Police in a press release. “Our community is not immune. We have worked with Bend-La Pine Schools throughout the past week, following up on any information that indicated any safety concerns to our schools. We are confident that this partnership has given students the confidence they could continue learning in a safe environment.”

Bend-La Pine Superintendent Shay Mikalson also sent a letter to parents outlining the school’s response to the incident.

“Dear Bend-La Pine Schools’ Community,

My heart has been heavy over the last week, as I have reflected on the latest school tragedy and all those that have come before. My thoughts have been with our students, our staff, our families, and our community as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of Bend-La Pine Schools’ students and staff.

With that said, I must inform you that the Bend Police Department has just released publicly information about an investigation we have been working on together throughout the night. We can now report that a youth is in custody for making a credible threat against our schools. The police say that a 16-year-old male was planning a shooting at Bend Senior High School. This is the fourth threat we, in partnership with Bend Police, have investigated against our schools in the past nine days, but the only report deemed credible.

This threat was reported to Bend Police late last night, who investigated and lodged the youth in juvenile jail before sunrise today. We are told he will remain there at least until arraignment on March 1. To say that I am concerned and deeply troubled by this youth’s alleged behavior would be an incredible understatement. However, I am incredibly grateful for the efforts of Bend-La Pine Schools’ staff, our proactive safety measures, Bend Police, and most for our culture of safety that emphasizes to all, “When you see something, say something.”

I believe that all students and staff in our nation’s schools deserve to stay safe while learning and teaching.

Bend-La Pine Schools addresses school safety through a comprehensive approach focusing on planning, prevention, intervention, and response. We have systems and programs to help ensure caring learning communities where students and staff feel safe and supported. The district also understands the importance of training and practicing emergency protocols with students and staff, using drills to prepare them to respond safely in a variety of emergency situations.

I want to share just a few of the practical steps the district has taken to promote school safety:

–       We have strong partnerships with the Bend Police Department and Deschutes County Sherriff’s Office, allowing them quick access to our schools and ongoing collaboration and communication. This includes jointly funded School Resource Officers within our schools.

–       We have transformed our student threat assessment protocols to reflect the standards of best practices nationwide.

–       We are working to increase the security of our school entrances through improved visibility and visitor/volunteer management. Thanks to our successful school bond, we have also begun work to create secure lobbies for our schools that do not currently have them.

–       We continue to reinforce the importance of both active supervision (campus monitors, administrators, etc.) and passive supervision (cameras, etc.) inside and outside of our schools.

–       In December, we launched a new communication tool that allows students and families to report tips via This tool has proved critical over the last nine days.

–       We train staff and students using the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) for a lock down, lock out, and other safety-related responses. This is a nationally-recognized program providing an all-hazards approach to crisis response in a variety of scenarios.

–       Bend-La Pine Schools is a founding partner of the Safe Schools Alliance, promoting school safety through partnerships among families, education, mental health, community justice, and law enforcement.

In times like these, staff and families can help students feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, talking with them openly about their fears, and reassuring them that schools are very safe places and dangerous events are rare. The National Association of School Psychologists provides more detailed recommendations in the resource, “Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.” In addition, our schools have additional human resources, including counselors, school psychologists, and other staff with personal connections to particular students. Finally, take this opportunity to talk with your students and children about the importance of speaking up right away if they ever become aware of a possible danger. We take every concern very seriously. Telling a trusted adult-a parent or school employee-is paramount.

Both as superintendent and the father of students in our schools, I want to reiterate the importance of the safety of every single member of our Bend-La Pine Schools’ community-our students, staff, families, neighbors, and visitors alike. Together, we can continue to do our collective parts to ensure our schools are safe places to learn.

Shay Mikalson, Superintendent”


Threat at Bend Senior High

Bend Police Increasing Presence at Bend Senior High Tuesday After Report of School Threat

Administrators at Bend Senior High School released the following letter to parents and students on Monday night to warn them about a police investigation involving a reported school threat, and the increased presence that Bend Police will have on campus on Tuesday when students return from the three-day holiday weekend:

February 19, 2018

Dear Bend Senior High School families,

In recent days, we have seen students and community members responding to, and talking about, the terrible act of violence that took place at a Parkland, Florida high school. For those who work and attend school in classroom environments every day – or send their students to school every day – we may find that events like the tragedy in Parkland feel close to home and raise intense emotions.

This weekend we talked with a student who reported overhearing two other students talking about general school attacks in ways that were perceived to be threatening to the Bend Senior High School learning environment. Bend Police Department and school administrators spent countless hours throughout the weekend attempting to follow up on this lead. The students who were said to have made these remarks were not identified and the single witness statement did not yield a viable lead. We will continue to investigate any new information that becomes available.

I share this with you tonight so that you are aware that we will have an increased police presence at Bend Senior High School tomorrow, which is the date that the reporting student said the two youth were allegedly discussing violence could take place at our school.

We and our partners at Bend Police Department have invested many resources into looking into this tip – all hours that we give willingly and with passion as we want to do everything we can to keep our students and schools safe.

That said, we have an opportunity for a ‘teachable moment’ where we can talk to our students about tone that is appropriate to use when having conversations with others about the tragedies that we are too frequently seeing on our mobile devices, on social media and on television.

It is my hope that you can help to reinforce to your student that if they see something, they should always say something. Please encourage your students to contact the main office, talk to a staff member or counselor, or use the SafeOregon tip line that they can find under the First Step icon on their iPad desktops at any time. (Parents, you can download First Step on your own device. Search for First Step OR in your app store.)

This single incident is not indicative of the Bend Senior High School culture or students. We, and our law enforcement partners, believe that our school will be safe for all students tomorrow. Patrols and police presence will be increased in an abundance of caution. Additionally, we understand that in informing our community of this threat we run the risk of other students copying this behavior. However, we felt it was important to communicate with our parents about this situation tonight.

Thank you for your support of our Lava Bear community.


Bend Senior High School Administration Team