Dear Portland Public Schools families and staff,
Following some recent concerning incidents around the city impacting students and staff at some of our schools, we are writing to encourage all families to remind students of the importance of staying alert and aware when out in the community.
During this past week, a variety of interactions with members of the public left some students and staff feeling unsafe. Those interactions occurred at Portland High School, involving men believed to be members of the city’s homeless population; near Lincoln Middle School, where a man harassed and threatened students at a bus stop; and near Reiche Community School, where a suspicious man on Feb. 15 attempted to lure a student into a car. Also, in a separate incident today, a man on Deering Street exposed himself to a Reiche student walking to school.
We have communicated with parents at these schools about these incidents and also reported them to Portland Police, with whom we are actively collaborating to improve public safety, including additional patrols of these areas. Portland Police issued a press release today regarding the Feb. 15 incident near Reiche and are asking that anyone who might have helpful information about that incident to contact them.
We encourage families to talk to their students about staying safe when out in the community. Here are some helpful resources to assist you in helping youngsters recognize and handle potentially dangerous situations:
Those involved in these incidents did the right thing by acting quickly and reporting what happened. If you see or hear of anything concerning that impacts our students in the community, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s school and/or police. We remain committed to the safety and welfare of students in our schools – and in our community.
Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend, Interim Co-Superintendents