Oregon has lost several students to fentanyl in the last few years. Linked below are fact sheets to help educate students, parents and the community about the dangers of fake pills made from deadly fentanyl.
Fentanyl being disguised as candy
Fentanyl is currently very common in our community; it is a powerful synthetic opioid that is like morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Young people think they are taking “blues,” OxyContin or Xanax, but they are often taking pills laced with fentanyl. Recently, law enforcement agencies have also warned about the danger of fentanyl being disguised as candy, specifically targeted to be sold to children.
Talking to your student is the best prevention
The best prevention is talking to your student about never taking any medication that doesn’t come from their doctor. This includes never taking pills, even from friends. This is a conversation that can literally save your child’s life.
One pill has the potential to be deadly.
Other prevention strategies
One of the best ways to protect youth from substances is by having open communication and educating them on the risks of substance use. Listening to them without judging is a critical tool you can provide as their trusted adult.
Look for changes in behavior
Look out for changes in behavior, such as irregular eating or sleeping patterns, low energy, general signs of depression or anxiety, unusual irritability, slipping grades, lack of interest in activities they love, and even drastic clothing style changes. Trust your instincts. If you notice a change, ask about it.
Monitor social media
Talk to your child and monitor their social media use. The online environment provides platforms for people to sell substances. Substances can be offered by someone met online.
When schools receive hoax threats, rumors of threats, and when there is a spread of false information, learning environments are disrupted and and there is understandably increased fear in our community.
Safety is our top priority
The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and families is our top priority. Maintaining safety in our schools requires an ongoing partnership with school staff, students, families, law enforcement and the surrounding community.
Safety is critical, and our district fully investigates each threat in collaboration with the FBI and/or our state and local law enforcement partners.
Issuing a threat is a crime
As a district, we have investigated a number of hoax threats of targeted violence against local schools. These threats—often issued via text message or posted on social media—are taken very seriously. Our law enforcement partners investigate every tip to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community. Hoax threats can result in both arrest by law enforcement and/or suspension or expulsion by the school district. Hoax threats are not a joke, and they can have devastating consequences—both for the public and for those who post them.
Issuing a threat—even over social media, via text message, verbally, through email, or other means—is a crime. Please share with your kids and those in your community that making a threat is a poor choice that could impact them for years to come.
Threats impact our entire community
In addition to the individual consequences a person may face, these threats have a serious impact on our community. They divert district resources from providing support for students and disrupt the learning environment for hundreds of students. Law enforcement resources are diverted from investigating other crimes, and they cost taxpayers a lot of money. The threats can also cause severe emotional distress to students, school staff and families.
Things to remember
Don’t share or forward a threat until law enforcement has a chance to investigate—this can spread misinformation and cause panic.
Don’t ever post or send any hoax threats online
If you are the target of an online threat, call your local law enforcement immediately
Salem Police Department Non-Emergency 503-588-6123
Keizer Police Department Non-Emergency 503-390-2000
Marion County Sheriff’s Office 503-588-5032
If you see a threat of violence posted online, contact local law enforcement or call 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also submit information online to the FBI on the FBI’s website.
Use SafeOregon by calling or sending a text to 844-472-3367 anytime. Tips also can be emailed or made through the SafeOregon app.
Remember – a hoax threat is no joke. Think before you post.
School Safety Systems in Salem-Keizer Public Schools
Video: School Safety and Emergency Procedures
Learn about safety protocols and emergency procedures implemented in all Salem-Keizer schools. Safety and security staff and district leadership were joined by local and state law enforcement agency partners to share information with the community. This was one of three safety sessions held this year about student safety in our schools. The other two sessions held were Student Voices, We All Belong and Social Media and Online Safety.
School Safety and Emergency Procedures – Presentation
School Safety and Emergency Procedures – Questions & Answers
Talking to children and teens about violence
At Salem-Keizer Public Schools, the safety of our students is our absolute top priority. Below are resources and information on the safety and security systems in place across the district.
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Families and Educators (English)
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (English)
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (Spanish)
Oregon has lost several students to fentanyl in the last few years. Linked below are fact sheets to help educate students, parents and the community about the dangers of fake pills made from deadly fentanyl. Learn more
Our children in today’s world have unique emotional and behavioral needs unlike anything we have seen before. This is not unique to Salem-Keizer. Schools across the country are seeing similar needs for support of students. At Salem-Keizer, we work to address the needs of our students through Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. These systems allow us to provide the right support for each student to address their emotional, behavioral, mental, and academic needs.
Behavioral Threat Assessment
Our team of specialists partners with agencies across Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties to identify students who may be exhibiting indicators of extreme aggression toward others, and we provide wraparound services like safety planning and mental health support to address those students’ needs.
Salem-Keizer’s behavioral threat assessment system is used by other school districts around the country. Below are some recent discussions in the media that provide a description of how our system works.
We work side by side with the Keizer Police Department, Salem Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office both in and out of our schools. When any concern for our school’s safety or a threat is reported, they move swiftly to investigate. It is very important to talk with children about the consequences of making any type of threat, which can range from a minimum of disciplinary action at school to criminal charges.
You can learn more about our school safety systems and procedures, including collaboration with our local law enforcement partners by viewing our recent safety series webinar.
Salem-Keizer Public Schools is an active member of SafeOregon, which gives kids, parents, schools, and community members a confidential way to report safety threats or potential acts of violence. Managed by the Oregon State Police, this program has proven to prevent acts of violence. I encourage you to download the mobile app on your phone, and on your child’s phone as well. You can also call or text 844-472-3367 anytime.
When a positive case of COVID-19 is identified within the school setting, we work closely with the local public health authority to ensure that the person diagnosed with COVID-19 follows instructions for isolation and remains away from others until they can safely return to school.
Families will receive a weekly notification on Saturdays about COVID-19 cases in schools with a link to this dashboard.
Improving safety and security through capital improvements
The 2018 bond program is improving safety and security across the district. Thirty-six of our schools are receiving renovations to the front entry to improve the office staff’s ability to monitor and control who enters the front entrance. Most of those improvements will be in the form of a secured check-in space at the front entry. Schools are also receiving upgrades to electronic badge access systems and to intercom systems, which will be able to send messages directly into classrooms.
Sprague High School and Salem-Keizer Public Schools promote equal opportunity for all individuals without regard to age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion or creed, sex or gender, sexual orientation, or veteran status. For more information, view Salem-Keizer’s Nondiscrimination / Title IX policy.