Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School, located at 324 Lockett Station Road, led the way for the Dougherty County School System with a 100 percent pass rate in reading and English for grades six through eight.
ALBANY, Ga. — A maintenance man who stepped inside from the cold at Robert Cross Middle School Monday morning inadvertently triggered a school lockdown and an armed police response.
R.D. Harter, public information director for the Dougherty County School System, says that early Monday morning school staff saw an unidentified white male, wearing a coat, stroll into the school, a move that prompted staff to notify the principal, who triggered the lockdown and alerted police.
Within minutes, the Dougherty County School System Police, the Dougherty County Police Department and the Albany Police Department had converged on the school and began checking the building for signs of the person. It was later determined that the man was attached the system's facilities and grounds department and that his coat had hidden his uniform.
"To me, the system worked," Harter said. "We had an unidentified person in the school and the lock down was triggered."
Harter says that typically administrators hold off on alerting police until they've seen the suspicious person and are unable to identify them. In this case, however, the man, who was working outside of the school but came inside for some unknown reason, had likely ventured back outside, which prevented administrators from immediately locating him, triggering the alert.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut, schools across the country are retooling their emergency response protocols and are ramping up their vigilance.