Bend Police say a telephoned threat made to Bend High School Thursday afternoon, which led to placing several Bend schools into a “Secure” lockout status, originated from outside the U.S. That theat led the district to place all Bend area high schools and Bear Creek Elementary into a Secure lockout status.
Police say parents and students should expect extra police presence on campuses Friday.
Bend Police converged on Bend High School at 1:16 p.m. Police said a call came into the police non-emergency dispatch line from someone claiming to be in the parking lots with weapons and that he was going to enter the school.
A Bend Police School Resource Officer was on scene at the school and the school was immediately placed into Secure, as were other Bend area high schools and Bear Creek Elementary. That’s when all doors are locked and nobody can enter or exit, but classes continue as normal.
That is different from a “Lockdown.” That is when students are told to get out of sight, stay quiet and keep doors closed.
“It was probably the most fear I’ve ever had in my life,” one student told us.
“The first thing I did was, right when I got right into that classroom I just decided to be aware and just in case something happened, I looked at all the hiding spots there,” said another.
“They just kind of told us to stay calm and that nothing huge was happening,” another student said.
More police officers arrived within three minutes, Bend Police said. Officers spent an hour searching the campus on foot and with the use of drones. Police say no weapons or evidence of a threat were found.
After an alert was sent to parents about the Secure lockout, parents started arriving at the school.
One of them — Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman, looking to reunite with his daughter.
“This is part of being a kid right now, which is pretty disturbing to go through these lockdowns. It’s sort of the lockdown generation — my generation, my kid’s generation — and it’s pretty scary for them,” said Broadman.
“You never want to hear this with your kid. It’s never a good situation. Very concerning,” said another parent.
During the search, an unattended bag was located on the exterior grounds of the school, police said. To be cautious, police cordoned off the affected area at the request of the Oregon State Police Explosives Disposal Unit. The unit determined the bag was not a threat.
Officers also responded to other schools in the district.
Bend Police said late Thursday that the phone call originated from outside the country, but didn’t say exactly where.
Mixed emotions about a situation that could have been worse, but with no real conclusion.
“It’s frustrating not like, to the school of ‘Why is this happening.’ It’s more just to humanity in a way, just like ‘C’mon guys. Let’s do better.’”