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False alarm leads to lockout at MIS

by MACKENZI KLEMANN - mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

NORTH MANCHESTER — A brief lockout was called at Manchester Intermediate School Tuesday after administrators learned of a “strange person” wandering around outside the school.

The incident was a false alarm, but Principal Randy Self says the lockout was taken as a precautionary measure to allow the school’s resource officer to investigate the situation.

“There was no real threat, just a potential strange person out there and they weren’t sure what the situation was … just making sure our students are safe, and that’s what they did,” Self told the Manchester Community Schools Board of Education Tuesday evening.

The individual was escorted from school property, but he has not been charged, North Manchester Police Chief Jim Kirk said.

“Anytime there’s someone suspicious just standing there on school property they get kicked out,” Kirk explained. “Unless you go through the school office and they know who you are, you’re not going to be allowed on school property. They’re not just going to allow you to hang out.”

Self noted that a lockout is less serious than a lockdown.

During a lockdown, all doors are locked while students and faculty hide inside classrooms. That’s because the potential threat is believed to be inside the building, whereas in a lockout the threat is outdoors. Normal school activities continued uninterrupted Tuesday as staff investigated the potential threat, but no one was allowed to enter or exit the building during that time.

Self estimated Tuesday’s incident was resolved within 30 minutes.