Channel 30 is reporting that police “have identified a ‘person of interest’ who may have approached a 10-year-old fourth grader in the bathroom of Webster Hill Elementary School on Friday. ”
The school went into lockdown mode Friday afternoon after the student told a teacher what the man said to him.
“It was something inappropriate,” Lt. Donald Melanson told the television station. “[We] really can’t say the words, but it was nothing. He didn’t touch the child or make any physical contact.”
Police said the man fled the school through a side door and jumped a fence leading into the surrounding neighborhood, according to Channel 30.
I’ve been in our schools enough to know that it’s easy to gain entry and walk around. That’s mostly because we have chosen to make the schools reasonably accessible to the community so that parents can come and go, participating all the time. It is one of West Hartford’s strengths.
But it only takes a single incident like this to call the whole long tradition into question. It’s so easy to see how things could have gone much worse.
Yet it’s important to keep in mind that what did happen is relatively minor. And it’s encouraging that the student wasted no time reporting the incident.
I hope we don’t have to make security our most important aim in school. That would be deeply sad.
I also hope that the police act swiftly.