One of the first schools to report the issue was Ashland High School, which was placed on lockdown after police got a call that reported a person had been shot at the school. According to a statement from the Ashland Police Department, officers responded to the call and searched the building, but no evidence of a shooting was found.
After AHS was cleared, police discovered that the same phone number had called in similar events nationally over the last few weeks.
As the investigation was underway, a similar call was received for a Medford High School, APD said.
The Medford School District issued the following statement:
Greetings, Medford School District Families,
We are aware of some non-legitimate threats at schools across Southern Oregon today. Police have confirmed there is no current threat.
But we do want to make you aware of this nationwide trend, called ‘swatting.’ Swatting is a term used to describe hoax reports made intentionally to schools and school districts sending them into lockdowns on unfounded or non-legitimate threats. Many of these calls are coming from out of country.
Schools nationwide and in our region are seeing an uptick of these types of calls. Just this morning, a swatting call was made from the same phone number to two other local school districts and South Medford.
When we received this call, our SROs and Medford Police worked quickly to make sure we had coverage in our buildings. Because of our partnership with Medford Police, we were able to swiftly determine this was a hoax call and the school day was able to continue as normal.
These types of swatting hoaxes can be disruptive and traumatic. We wanted to make you aware so you can discuss this with your children, as you see fit.
It is important to note, we continue to take all threats seriously and move urgently to take appropriate action based on the information we have.
If you believe there is a legitimate threat, we urge you to report it using Safe Oregon’s Tip Line or to a trusted adult at the school.
Your child’s safety is our top and ongoing priority and the central purpose of all of our emergency procedures.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office also received false reports of an active shooter at various schools in the county. “We believe these to be swatting incidents to instigate police response and generate panic among responders and community members,” DCSO Lt. Brad O’Dell said. “There have been similar incidents occurring nationwide for at least the past 24 hours. Law Enforcement will respond to and assess each incident appropriately.”
The Ashland Police Department will continue to investigate the incident and urges anyone with information to come forward.
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