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Demonstrators at Grants Pass HS not a threat, district says

A ‘local group’ spreading information about abortion to students was peaceful and did not require police presence

A “local group” was at Grants Pass High School Dec. 10 spreading their message about abortion to students, but their actions were peaceful and there was no police intervention, according School District 7.

The group’s actions became widely known on social media after school Superintendent Kirk Kolb notified parents of what happened.

“We have done everything we can to work with law enforcement to ensure student safety and safe access to our schools within the confines of the law,” Kolb wrote in an internal message shared on social media.

Kristin Hosfelt, communications and public relations specialist for District 7, confirmed to the Mail Tribune the group’s presence at GPHS, adding she did not know if it was the same individuals who showed up during a demonstration last month.

On Nov. 16, students staged a walkout at the high school in response to the district reinstating two educators who were fired for misusing district time and resources to disseminate their personal political views on how schools handle transgender students.

The group that spoke to students Dec. 10 arrived before school began at 7:30 a.m., Hosfelt told the newspaper in an email. Even though they were on the sidewalk, which is public property, school officials asked them to leave. The group declined, but ended up leaving around 8 a.m., when class began.

There was no police intervention ... and there were no safety issues reported by students or staff,” Hosfelt wrote. “Our goal is to ensure students get to and from school safely.”

In his message to parents, Kolb said it was important for the district to inform them of what transpired Friday so they can talk with students about “how to handle these types of encounters appropriately.”

“We encourage our students to ignore these individuals and notify school staff of any inappropriate behavior,” he wrote.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.