During the Oct. 28 Black and Blue Bowl football game — the annual showdown between North and South Medford high schools — a student armed with a gun was removed from Spiegelberg Stadium by school resource officers, according to school officials.
“During the Black and Blue Bowl on Friday night, our school staff received a report of an armed student at Spiegelberg Stadium,” the Medford School District said in an emailed statement. “With each SRO during the game and the assistance of school personnel, police detained the student after approximately five minutes.”
After being detained by police, the student with the gun claimed the weapon was for self-defense and he did not plan to harm anyone else, officials said. The student’s name was not released, and police did not say what school the student attended.
Officials said the student did not brandish a weapon or threaten anyone, but someone reported an armed student.
“We constantly monitor threats in society. We look at each day and each event on a case-by-case basis,” said Ron Haunier, director of facilities, security and leadership for the Medford School District, in a Zoom news conference Thursday afternoon.
He declined to comment on any specific details of the incident, including whether the student is in a juvenile detention center.
Hauniar described the Medford School District’s security system as multi-layered and robust, and said officials always strive to find a balance between being an open and welcoming district while protecting students and staff.
For the 37th annual Black and Blue Bowl, the county measured the expected crowd size and determined a heavy security presence was required, Haunier said. The district had all school resource officers on hand, along with Medford police patrol officers, campus monitors from each high school to ensure staff were familiar with individual students, and additional play management personnel.
“We are trying to contain and detect; we also try to carry out many preventive measures – to develop a positive school culture. … But we also want to have a robust response system if needed,” he said.
Havniear encouraged students and families to report any suspicious behavior at school to the Safe Oregon hotline, 844-472-3367 or [email protected]
The Medford Police Department declined to comment on the incident.
Contact Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at [email protected] or 541-776-4487. Follow her on Twitter @MRothborne.