Superintendent warns of ripple effects of gun violence on students
UPDATED: 10:40 a.m. Dec. 13 Classes were canceled at Cleveland High School for Tuesday, Dec. 13 after a 16-year-old teen was shot outside the school Monday afternoon, Dec. 12.
Portland Police say a Cleveland High student is recovering after walking into a local hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound sustained near the school campus in Southeast Portland.
According to police, officers responded to a 911 call of gunshots heard in the area at 12:34 p.m. They found shooting evidence outside the school campus, but partially on school property. The shots led Cleveland High to go into lockdown. Witnesses told police two vehicles were involved, both of which fled the scene.
About 15 minutes after the 911 call, the student was admitted to a nearby hospital. Portland Police Bureau's Enhanced Community Safety Team responded to the school and is handling the investigation.
This marks thethird shooting on school groundssince October, when two students were injured by gunfire outside Jefferson High School. Earlier this year, four David Douglas School District students were shot and one was killed in an April shooting.
PPS staff said Tuesday, Dec. 13 will be a non-instructional day for students. Instead, counselors and student support staff will be on campus at 11 a.m. Tuesday and takeaway lunches will be available in the cafeteria at the normal lunch hour, 11:41 to 12:16 p.m.
Cleveland teachers will meet to discuss and plan for supporting students when they return.
In a statement publishedTuesday morning, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero urged community solutions to curbing the city's gun violence.
"Yesterday, for the third time in two months, a gun was fired just outside a Portland Public Schools campus. In two of those instances, PPS students have been injured. And across the city, during this same time period, far too many Portlanders have been victims of our region's escalating gun violence," Guerrero stated.
"As a lifelong educator, I see my primary responsibility as ensuring the safety and well-being of the children and youth under our care, as well as their teaching and learning. I am grateful for the commitment and service of our educators and support staff who everyday dedicate themselves to accomplishing these goals.
"But as gunfire rattles another PPS community, I urge our community to come together and work collectively towards resolving the social problems plaguing our neighborhoods.
"If students fear for their safety, or their friends' safety, or their family members' safety, they cannot enter our classrooms feeling safe, secure, and ready to learn. If gun violence continues to occur, especially near our school buildings, students will feel a heightened anxiety, instead of a greater sense of belonging and safety. Compounding matters, our students are still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic: mental and behavioral needs have never been greater."
This story has been updated to clarify the number of shootings near schools in recent months.
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