Parents of the Fern Ridge community,

I believe recent events around an incident at Fern Ridge Middle School, the districts response, and the subsequent discussion is necessitating an additional message from me.  Serious issues of confidentially are in play here, so know that everything I have written here,  just this morning I have received permission from the family involved to share.

The district was made aware of a general threat by a FRMS student on Monday, October 29th.  The threat that was made a week or more prior to being reported to us was not specific in nature, was made in a private conversation between two friends, one of whom shared he was having some violent thoughts.  The threat was investigated thoroughly over 2-3 days.  The parents of the involved student responded to this event as I would hope any parent would.  They understood the severity, were concerned for their child, and they furthermore agreed to voluntarily withdraw their student from school and pursue getting him some support.  FRMS Principal, Ms. Johnson was in communication with me from the get go, and everything we have done here has been at my direction, and in accordance with Board policy.  I can assure folks the following:  The FRSD School Board is fully aware of the specifics of this case, and I am confident the Districts response was swift, appropriate, and at no time after being made aware of the threat were students in danger.

I stand by the fact that our response here was appropriate for the specifics of this case, and done so in a way that would encourage, not discourage, others form coming forward if they have concerns about themselves, or their peers.  The District will certainly be de-briefing these events and discussing any possible adjustments to our policy or practice in the future.  If anyone would like to contact me directly please feel free to do so at gcarpenter@fernridge.k12.or.us or via phone at 541-935-2253 ext 1201.   I, as well as your elected School Board members, have no higher priority than doing everything in our power to ensure your children, theirs and mine included, are safe in Fern Ridge School District Schools.

Next week, FRMS staff are working on a short presentation to students that will emphasize two things.  First, the importance of reporting to a trusted adult, and secondly the seriousness with which any threatening statement must be taken by school officials. I expect this presentation to take place on Wednesday during homeroom.

Gary Carpenter, Superintendent FRSD 28J

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December 2019

Dec 5 Community Tree Lighting at VES 6pm

 

Dec 6 Varsity Girls Basketball EHS vs Newport 7pm

 

Dec 12 City of Veneta Light Parade 7pm

 

Dec 13 Varsity Boys Basketball EHS vs Philomath 5:45pm

 

Dec 14 S.A.N.T.A. Giveaway at VES 9am-4pm

 

Dec 16 FRSD School Board Meeting 6:30pm

 

Dec 20-21 Elmira Basketball Tournament

 

Dec 23 – Jan 6  Winter Break

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