Math vendor redirected to county office, school sweep completed as precaution
An unidentified man on campus and an abundance of caution led to an after-school lockdown of Spring Hill Elementary in Fayetteville Monday afternoon.
According to Captain Chad Myers with the Fayetteville Police Department, it started with a man knocking on a side door at the Open Campus building, formerly Fayette Middle School. When a staff member opened the door to see what he needed, they thought he was trying to step inside and shut the door on him. He proceeded down the hill on the access road towards the back of Spring Hill Elementary, where he walked into the building via a door off the bus loop. It was unclear whether the door was unlocked or had not fully closed previously.
The man entered Spring Hill and asked a staff member where the office was located. Noted in an update from Melinda Berry-Dreisbach with the school system, the man was a math vendor who was able to produce identification by the Spring Hill front office. He was then directed to go to the county office.
“During this time, the staff at the Open Campus was notifying the principal at Spring Hill Elementary of the situation and that 911 had been called,” she said. “The school was immediately placed on lockdown until local law enforcement personnel could do a thorough search of the interior and exterior of the building. No one was found.”
Because of a camera limitation, there was no footage of him leaving the building, necessitating the lockdown and sweep by the Fayetteville Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office.
Teachers and staff followed Code Red protocol, barricading themselves and the few remaining students in their rooms until the full sweep was completed. As they were cleared, students were escorted to a safe spot on the perimeter of the building.
All students and staff were safe.
According to Myers, there was no indication the man was threatening and the situation was handled with a great amount of caution to ensure the safety of all involved.
Berry-Dreisbach assured that the situation was handled properly and with all needed precautions.
“The school system commends our staff at both schools for following proper safety procedures in dealing with this incident. The students and staff at Spring Hill Elementary are especially commended for doing exactly what they had practiced during safety drills. Chief (Scott) Gray with the Fayetteville Police Department also commented about how the students and staff followed proper protocol,” said Berry-Dreisbach. “The safety of our students and staff are a top priority for our school system. We are continuing to review and update our safety procedures to make sure we are doing all we can to protect our students and staff.”