A call for advice, three police cars, a missed recess, a blast out e-mail and a game of telephone caused a mild panic with elementary school parents today.
Mary L. Tracy School Principal Colleen Murray sent out the following blast out e-mail to parents to inform them and hopefully quell their fears:
Dear Mary L. Tracy Parents /Guardians,
You may or may not be aware that an incident arose in district this morning which required Orange Police Department assistance. This unexpected disturbance did not pose an immediate threat to the students or faculty of Mary L. Tracy School but to err on the side of caution, outside doors remained locked and children were given an indoor recess.
Instruction was not disrupted.
The safety and well being of our students and staff is always our highest priority. If at any time, you have any questions pertaining to this morning’s incident, please do not hesitate to contact me at 203-891-8028.
Yet that was not enough to satisfy some parents who decided to do their own investigation and tell others what “really happened” and the game of telephone began.
Parents called Orange Live asking why the schools were on lock down; why is Mary L locked down because of an incident at Peck Place?; why won’t the school tell us what really happened?; why are the police surrounding my child’s school?
Superintendent Lynn McMullin answered our inquiry on behalf of the parents.
“We needed advice from the police regarding something which really turned out to be a non-incident… and three officers responded in three cruisers and parked outside of MLT,” she said. “It really was nothing, but Colleen kept the kids in from recess until we were sure we were reading the situation correctly.”
McMullin said none of the schools were locked down at any time and at no time were the children in danger from a predator or any serious situation.
“We need to feel free to ask advice and not think that it will create a problem,” she said.
Even though the rumor mill got out of control after people saw the police cars outside the school, McMullin said she would not hesitate to ask for advice from the police again in the future, and she hopes that parents realize that the children’s safety is their number one priority. If there was a serious situation that put the children in harms way, she certainly would let parents know about it.