NMES locked down after man seeks entry
New Middletown Elementary School was placed on lockdown last Tuesday as a precaution after an unknown man came to the front entrance doors and tried to enter the building.
The male was unable to enter due to the school’s locked doors policy, which came into effect for all South Harrison Community School Corp. schools following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 in Newtown, Conn.
Visitors to the schools must check in with office personnel ‘ by a push button device ‘ before gaining entry.
‘At no time were students or staff perceived to be in danger,’ Dr. Mark Eastridge, superintendent of the SHCSC, said in a voice message to South Harrison staff and families.
The school resource officer, Mike Kurz with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept., was contacted immediately and made his way to the school from Heth-Washington Elementary School. Kurz works both elementary schools as school resource officer. The position, along with an officer at the Corydon Central and South Central campuses, also was put in place as a safety measure following the shooting in Newtown.
‘After interviewing the male and doing a background investigation, the male was deemed not to be an immediate threat,’ NMES Principal Wendy Carter said in a letter to parents.
The man left without incident, and Kurz remained at the school for the duration of the day, which was the final day for students before the holiday break.
Carter said the male was in his early 40s (approximately), wore an orange toboggan, blue jeans, a blue work shirt and a green Carhartt-type jacket. His vehicle was a white custom-style Ford van with blue stripes, blue interior and Kentucky license plate.
The man was not charged with any offense.
‘Please understand that at New Middletown Elementary School your child’s safety is always first and foremost on our minds,’ Carter said.