Ashland School Shootings: Parents Contemplate Legal Action Against School District

ASHLAND, Ore. — “Parents Demanding School Shooting Safety,” a group advocating for safety in schools, has given notice to the Ashland School District that they intend to file legal action.

A coalition of concerned parents, including this group, is set to hold a press conference outside the Ashland School District offices on Wednesday to address multiple legal actions against the Ashland School District and the Oregon Department of Education publicly. Parents Demanding School Shooting Safety representative, Alex Sol, made the announcement.


School Shootings in Ashland And Medford

In drawing attention to school shootings, Sol referenced the tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He said school procedures for school shootings and drills are often to shelter in place inside classrooms, but the Ulvade shooter shot through the glass window in the door. He noted that those children died doing what they were told to do to be safe. Sol said, “We feel the government has a responsibility to repair this catastrophic safety hazard.”

Following an incident in November in which a South Medford High School  (SMHS) student brought a gun to school in their backpack, Cori Draper transferred her son out of SMHS in March.  Police confiscated the gun at the student’s residence, in cooperation with the parents and highlighted the need for children to feel safe.

Sarah Sol also urged parents to inspect their children’s classrooms. She said they should speak to their school district if they feel their children are not safe. Any parents with students in schools can also raise concerns about safety with the Safety & Security Department using the SafeOregon website.


Ashland School District Parents Filing Lawsuit

The coalition of parents focused on three key issues:

  • Neglect of recommended safety assessments.
  • Prevention of school shooting exercises.
  • Qualified school shooting safety plans that are being blocked.


They allege the Ashland School District was reported to the school board and/or school authorities as they hindered the Ashland Police Department’s ability to carry out shooting exercises on school premises outside of regular school hours. They said that by denying consent to the Ashland Police Department to practice responses to a school tragedy, the district put students in even greater danger. The coalition said the district failed to comply with the guidelines and recommendations set by the Oregon Department of Education.

Sol has advocated for the creation of hardened corners, polycarbonate bullet-resistant glass, and bullet-resistant doors. These are safety features that can be installed without being noticed by visitors to the school. He noted that the Sandy Hook Elementary School was rebuilt with security embedded in its design after the school shooting in 2012.

According to Sol, ASD has failed to comply with ORS 336.071. The lawsuits set out to achieve two purposes:

  • To counter the resistance by ASD of efforts to create enhanced safety measures in Ashland schools.
  • To rectify the failure to appropriately apply recommended safety measures indicated in a 2018 ASD bond.


Announcing the intent to file legal action, the letter was signed on behalf of Parents Demanding School Shooting Safety (formerly Ashland Moms for Safe Zones) by Alex and Sarah Sol, Natalie Parham, and Marianna Zimmitt. They said the lawsuits would be filed immediately, but the group does not yet have an attorney and is seeking one willing to act pro bono, although Sol said he would pay if that was required. Multiple attorneys have expressed interest.

According to Sol, after the Our Lady of Angels fire in Chicago of 1958 that took the lives of 90 school children, schools underwent structural changes aimed at fire prevention including sprinkler systems. Sol said school shootings should be addressed in the same way as there is a clear pattern of school shooters exploiting the glass windows of classroom doors. Sol is willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. He said, ” I don’t stop now.”

Sol said more information, ways to get involved in the lawsuits, or the group’s school safety efforts are available on their website. The Ashland School District has not responded to the group’s notice.

Morning Brief Newsletter
Sign up today for our daily newsletter, a quick overview of top local stories and Oregon breaking news delivered directly to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.