Camas School District officials reassure after spate of false security alerts

Camas schools superintendent says district is taking steps to avoid future glitches

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category icon Camas, Schools
A Camas Police Department vehicle sits in front of Camas High School, Thursday, March 23, 2023. (Kelly Moyer/Post-Record files)

Camas School District leaders are addressing community concerns following three false security system incidents in as many months.

“It’s important to talk about it and notice it,” Camas School Board member Erika Cox said during the Board’s Feb. 26 meeting. “Three times in three months is more than we’ve ever had before.”

School board member Tracey Malone said she had “a lot of people reach out” following the most recent false alarm at Camas High School on Friday, Feb. 23, but said the district has learned valuable lessons from the false alarms.

“It’s all working, and it’s amazing the technology we have,” Malone said, referring to the district’s new security technology — the artificial intelligence (AI) assisted ZeroEyes software that uses the district’s security cameras to spot gun-shaped objects and alert district and school leaders to possible threats in under a minute and the CrisisGo emergency management program that can alert classroom teachers to possible dangers, implement school lockdowns and even help reunite families with students after an emergency event.

Camas School District Superintendent John Anzalone said the three false alarms began with a misunderstanding at Odyssey Middle School in early December 2023.

“ZeroEyes sent a community newsletter to their clients across the world, and our staff at Odyssey received this email,” Anzalone said. “Unfortunately, the newsletter used a stock photo of someone carrying an assault rifle outside sliding glass doors.”

An Odyssey staff member saw the photo and mistakenly believed the photo was related to Odyssey, Camas’ project-based middle school based at the form Sharp Labs building, which also has sliding doors.

“They were being overly safe,” Anzalone said of the Odyssey