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Oregon schools launch emergency hotline app

October 5, 2018

OREGON – In the wake of the Dixon High School shooting, the Oregon School District has implemented a confidential emergency hotline app students and others can use 24-7 to report potential threats, unsafe or disruptive behavior, or find mental health care.

The Safe School Helpline is “another avenue for students, parents and community members to share vital information,” Superintendent Thomas Mahoney said.

“There’s also a resource for those contemplating suicide or other bodily harm by connecting them with certified counselors that can help immediately.”

It’s part of an ongoing effort to ensure student safety, he said.

“Several years ago, we implemented some physical security measures for students. We built secure vestibules during renovations to keep those wanting to enter the school to cause harm from doing so,” Mahoney said.

Officials continue to evaluate overall safety.

“We hired an outside agency to audit our physical security and relationships with emergency services and first responders, and will implement their recommendations,” he said.

The district does what it can with what it has, but Mahoney said he wants to push for more.

“Although I believe that we do a fantastic job with our current resources, I’d like to see us grow our mental health resources,” Mahoney said.

The district already had and will continue to use an emergency hotline, but the app will be more convenient for students who seldom are without their phones.

“We want to make these resources available to the student’s fingertips.”

Go to schoolhelpline.com or call the district at 815-732-5300 for more information.

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