4 shootings in 4 months near Portland schools prompt city, school leaders to meet, discuss solutions

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 5:21 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - After four shootings outside Portland schools in as many months, city and local leaders met Friday with PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and members of the school board to discuss possible solutions.

After the meeting, which was not open to the public, Guerrero said that several items they discussed warranted follow-up, and said the district plans to host focus groups with students and their families to talk about their concerns and better ways to create a safe learning environment.

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”I want to make sure we have a nuanced conversation about what that means,” Guerrero said. “There are no panaceas or simple solutions here.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler attended the discussion along with County Chair Jessica Vega-Peterson, Police Chief Chuck Lovell and Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell.

Wheeler said several things are on the table as potential ways to curb gun violence, including a commitment by the city to spend an additional $5 million for “credible interveners,” community members who have connections to individuals engaged in or impacted by gun violence.

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The district will also be listening to parents and students about the possibility of bringing school resource officers back to campus.

“The idea of having officers in our schools is one component, one potential component of the larger public safety question,” said School Board Chair Andrew Scott. “It’s something we as a district are certainly open to.”

People involved in Friday’s discussion said it would be the first of many conversations aimed at improving safety at Portland schools.