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Cambridge School Locked Down During Police Investigation Friday

A misunderstanding led to a report of a suspicious person inside Cambridge Elementary School Friday morning.

Cambridge Elementary School was placed on lockdown Friday morning after a misunderstanding led to a report of a suspicious person inside the school.

At about 8:20 a.m. this morning, police said a mother was taking her child to the before school program, while an unidentified man was standing behind them as they awaited access to the school. As the parent entered after being buzzed in by a staff member, the man followed them inside the school, according to police.

When the parent took her child to the before school program, a paraprofessional at the school asked if the unidentified male was a relative of hers, to which she replied no. At that point, staff lost track of where the male had gone and the principal was alerted, police said.

South Brunswick Police arrived at Cambridge and placed the school on lockdown before the official school day began, as there were about a dozen students already in the building for the before school program, according to police.

Buses arriving with students were held back a few blocks away from the school, as police searched the area for the unidentified male. After a search determined the male was not inside the school, the lockdown was released and normal operations resumed at about 10:30 a.m.

Soon thereafter, it was determined the unidentified male was a parent at the school, who entered the building without checking in to leave a note for a teacher at Cambridge who was absent today. The subsitute teacher passed the note along and police contacted the parent who left the note.

"There was some concern from family and staff members. We wanted to be cautious and make sure the school is a safe environment," said police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan. "We explained to the parent the normal procedure for doing something like this and the parent was remorseful for causing a problem."

denise winstead February 02, 2013 at 04:43 PM
The schools and the police are doing the best they can. Resources are limited and new resources are expensive... People live in a fantasy world with a cop in every school ideals. I don't get asked for ID when I go to the school because EVERYONE knows me because I'm involved with many aspects of my kid and his school (and yes, I work full-time and go to school myself). I've seen many people asked for ID and I've seen many people stopped at the door.
denise winstead February 02, 2013 at 04:55 PM
And those are the people that the school never hears from until something goes wrong. Get involved... Be a voice! If you're not happy with the Before/Aftercare program join the parent advisory board instead of criticizing on a public forum. They can't fix what they don't know is broken! We are a part of a public school system so there are many avenues to speak... Where it will do some good. I love this school district and Cambridge. I didn't even know the teachers were without a contract before I read it here... Why, because they all give 110% everyday!
Constable Mom February 04, 2013 at 01:31 AM
I appreciate the way both the school and the police handled the situation. Since Newtown is still fresh in everyone's head, news of an intruder and lock-downs in our schools would definitely throw all of us off. My child is in Constable. Constable also had a lock-down and police did make sure everything was ok in the neighboring school. In all of this, news traveled fast about the COnstable lock-down and as any concerned parent, it was re-assuring to find out that everything was ok. I, however, DO NOT appreciate that the school district made no effort to inform Constable parents that the school was locked-down just in case. The kids saw the police in school, and did come and tell us at home, besides us finding out in the morning from many Cambridge and Constable parents. If the district finds it appropriate to inform us of vans approaching strangers outside of schools, then it goes to the school district's and the South Brunswick Police's credibility that they let the parents know everything they did to show caution, instead of not letting us Constable parents know. I feel highly disconcerted and uninformed!
Cathleen DiBenedetto February 05, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Constable did not have a lock down.....They had a lock out...The police were already scheduled to be at Constabe that day, they were not there because of the lock down at Cambridge.
Tugwalla February 06, 2013 at 10:43 PM
sbmom....I wasn't there but I heard from a very credible source that the SB Police did an excellent job! The issue is with the poor school security and lack of accountability!

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