The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times


With recent school shootings such as the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, questions have arisen regarding Marshfield’s security.


By Spencer Hurbis & Cheyenne McNeely| Collaborative Reporters


Backpacks and purses began to pile up outside the entrances to the Marshfield auditorium. Anxious students filed into the building, moving quickly past Coos Bay Police officers and taking their seats. On Dec. 20, Marshfield High School prepared for a shooting after rumors circulated that the school was in danger during the annual Fine Arts Winter assembly.

Eighth grader Cayce Hill said he was very alert and a little afraid of the possible threat. He had a route planned and sat close to the door, ready to make a quick escape with his friends if shots were fired.

 “You were forced to go to the assembly which I think is controversial,” Hill said. “It was kind of nerve-racking to go in there because if somebody opened fire, would the cops then open fire on the audience?”

Marshfield administrators had the police department assist them in the protection of the school, but did not resort to canceling the school day. According to Security Officer Todd Tardie, there were no specific threats made against the school, and rumors like these had been floating around schools all over the country after the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Tardie said most of the rumors started by students joking around and trying to get school canceled. He said if there was ever a legitimate threat made, officials would shut down the school because the safety of students is their highest priority. Until then, Tardie believes the safety of the school rests in the hands of the students, as it is their responsibility to let administration know of any threats they are aware of.

“You guys know everything and you hear it all. I walk around students all day that know way more than I do, but they just won’t talk,” Tardie said. “The safety and well-being of our school is really in the hands of the students, if they would just talk and not be fearful of that.”

Coos Bay School District Superintendent Dawn Granger said she was very grateful to the Coos Bay Police Department for their active cooperation and involvement in the situation. She said the police looked thoroughly into the rumors and discovered nothing in them but a dead end.

“We didn’t have any specific information, just rumors that were being reported, but because they’re rumors that had to deal with student safety, we take them very seriously,” Granger said. “We are being very cautious for our children because we love them and they are irreplaceable.”

Approximately one-third of the student body did not attend school the day after hearing the rumors. Sophomore Gabby Bryant made the decision to stay home even though her father, social studies teacher Bruce Bryant, still had to be there to teach his eighth grade students.

“I knew threats like that were happening around the United States and I was a little freaked out,” Gabby said. “When rumors started going around our school, I didn’t even want to have to deal with it because just picturing it was kind of an emotional thing.”

The Coos Bay Police Department worked in cooperation with the Marshfield administration and had five officers stationed around the campus to ensure the safety of the school staff and students. Officer Mike Shaffer said Marshfield’s administrators did a very good job in communicating with the police department and taking the situation seriously.

      “It was sort of vague threats at that time, however we took them extremely seriously,” Shaffer said.  “With that in mind, it was sort of vigilance and presence, and to look for anything out of the ordinary.”

Shaffer, along with some of the other officers at the site, had two children of his own attending school that day.

“We as a police department, and as individual officers, had a strong interest in the safety of this campus, and the other campuses in the district,” Shaffer said.

According to Granger, the police and fire departments do an annual practice drill where they run through the school trying to find where an attacker could hide and checking all of the access points, as they would in an emergency.  

The school board and local law enforcement review crisis plans together and advise that all Coos Bay schools do monthly lockdown drills to help prepare staff and students for any threat.

“To the best of our abilities, our staff is prepared for something like that, but every threat will be prosecuted and every person, student or community member that makes a threat will have disciplinary and legal consequences,” Granger said. “You can’t go about threatening our children and getting away with it.”

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