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Increased police presence at SMHS today

Report to SafeOregon turned out to be misunderstanding but more police were on campus nonetheless

South Medford High School sent out an email Tuesday morning to let parents know that police had followed up a “vague threat” and determined there was no threat made pertaining to the campus.

“An individual made a statement out of context,” said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau. “We know what was said and determined it not to be an actual threat at all.”

South Principal Jeremy Hamasu explained in an email to parents that someone reported to the SafeOregon tip line Monday that there had been a “vague threat that was not specific” but that police ultimately determined there was “no current threat.”

“Regardless, out of an abundance of caution, we have asked there to be additional patrols at SMHS today,” Hamasu wrote in the email to parents.

“Our students’ safety and well-being is our top priority, we take all threats seriously, and work diligently with the Medford Police Department to ensure every report is followed up on with fidelity,” he stated.

Hamasu also gave kudos to the person who reported what they heard to SafeOregon.

“If you see something, never hesitate to reach out. You can use the SafeOregon anonymous tip by calling or texting 844-472-3367 or by emailing tip@safeoregon.com,” the principal added.

The tip line was created for Oregon students, parents, school staff, community members and law enforcement officers to report and respond to school safety threats, according to the website.

Hamasu also said he was available to listen.

“You can always reach out to me directly,” he added, and provided the main office phone number to the school, 541-842-3680.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Medford School District Superintendent Bret Champion complimented the police department for its fast investigative work. Officers determined there was no threat before school started.

“Police sprang into action,” he said.

At another point, one of the media participants pointed out that not all parents received the email because some delivery systems considered it to be spam.

District officials responded by asking parents to check their junk mail files because some systems block delivery of mass messages. They also urged parents to check with the school their child attends to ensure that their contact information is current if they haven’t received school messages recently.

Obtaining information by text is also an option.

The district will also file a report with internet providers and ask that future emails be put onto a safe sender address.