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International Student Safety January 27, 2009

Posted by theidealschool in Uncategorized.

Shooter left ‘will’; victims were random – OregonLive.com

Many international students have said over the years that they consider Portland a safe place to live and study. Generally, this has been true, but as the events of this past weekend show, violence does happen here.

Yes, the victims were random–these students from other parts of the world and their friends, but a question remains. Where do random acts of violence take place? Do they happen up in the mountains? On farms? Outside of the metropolitan areas?

Not typically. Why not? Where are concentrations of people? Obviously, in the city. And suburbs to a slightly lesser degree.

Does this mean that these victims were at fault, that they should have known better than to hang out in the city? Definitely not. However, as international students ask for advice about where to study and what activities to engage in, I encourage them to think about the safety factor.

The host families of high school students need to know where their students are at all times. Some of these students are used to having a lot of autonomy and don’t always like to communicate their whereabouts. As we see with this tragedy, however, communication between students and host families is essential.

Some parents from other countries that we have worked with prefer to have their children receive more supervision and live farther from the higher population centers. This is something young people should keep in mind, which is not to say that they should avoid crowds altogether or not go do some of the things they enjoy doing. Like these victims and their friends, international students need to go in groups when they do venture out.

As Commissioner Saltzman said in Bernstein’s article, “our thoughts and prayers are with” all of the friends and families of these two young ladies and, I would add, with all the international students here in the Portland metro area.


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