Cedar Mill
Community Website

Search the Cedar Mill News:

About The
Cedar Mill News

Volume 17, Issue 11
November 2019


Lockout? Lockdown? What’s the difference?

Information from Beaverton School District and Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Cedar Mill recently had a couple of incidents that required action at local schools. An altercation between roommates, involving a gun, on Old Quarry Road, near 119th, required a lockout at Bonny Slope Elementary. Another incident involved a thief who took wine and other items, and an employee raincoat, from Safeway resulted in a lockout at Sunset High. The thief ran through the neighborhoods and it was feared he might enter the campus. Both incidents resulted in arrests without further danger to students or the public.

lockout lockdown graphic

It must be so stressful on students, teachers, and parents, to deal with danger in the neighborhoods, in light of the horrible mass violence incidents constantly in the news. So we looked to the school district and the Sheriff to figure out what to expect from these situations.

You’ve heard the terms “lockout” and “lockdown.” While the two terms sound somewhat similar, they mean very different things. It can help ease your anxiety as a parent to know the difference.

A lockout means there is a possible threat outside the school. Most often, this is due to police activity in the area or the neighborhood. Police might be searching for a suspect in a crime, or someone might have spotted a person wanted for questioning. During a lockout, it is business as usual inside the building. If students are at recess, or outside for some reason, they are brought inside, the doors are locked and classes continue. The District does not typically send out parent notifications for lockouts, since they are most often due to police activity in the neighborhood and are usually resolved quickly.

A lockdown means there is a possible threat inside the school. This is not business as usual. Hallways are cleared, classroom and office doors are locked, lights are turned out. Students and staff are instructed to stay quiet and out of sight.

All of our schools can be put in lockout or lockdown at the touch of a button. A message with instructions will play over the school’s intercom system. BSD has produced several YouTube videos to help educate students, parents and staff:

If you get a notification about a lockout or a lockdown, the first place to check for reliable information and updates are the school and District webpages. There will be a page pop with information that “pops” onto the center of the screen. Also monitor the District’s social media feeds: Facebook • Twitter.

Do not call or go to the school. Doing so could put you or others in danger. We will communicate with you as soon as we have more information to share.

A lockdown may lead to a controlled release or parent reunification. Please watch our Parent Reunification video to familiarize yourself with this process.



Previous article


Next article

Sign Up Now to receive
The Cedar Mill News by email each month

fb like
Like us on Facebook for timely updates

Cedar Mill News
Past Issues

Published monthly by Cedar Mill News LLC
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
© 2018