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'Suspicious person' claim locks down 3 North Allegheny schools

There was some tension around three schools in the North Allegheny School District yesterday morning. A report of a suspicious person sparked concerns for student safety and prompted temporary lockdowns at McKnight Elementary, Carson Middle and North Allegheny Intermediate High schools.

Officials can be forgiven for what some might consider drastic action, especially in the wake of mass shootings that have occurred in other locations around the country. Concern about potential hazards and visitor safety should be a top priority of anyone hosting members of the public.

If there was any sort of threat yesterday, it was apparently put to rest in rather short order. The lockdown at the Cumberland Campus in McCandless began about 10:15. An hour later, after a sweep of the whole area by police, authorities issued an all clear. Teachers and students were encouraged to return to normal operations.

According to KDKA-TV, what prompted the shutdown was an intermediate school student's report of a suspicious person outside of the building. The presence of a weapon was mentioned.

Officers from a number of agencies, including McCandless Township, Allegheny County and other communities were called in to secure the facilities and help with the search.

The school district issued a statement later saying that the officers scoured the entire Cumberland Campus and all the areas immediately surrounding it, but didn't find anything.

Whenever anyone is hurt as a result of shortcomings in security on a property where the public is welcome, the right to seek compensation exists. Anyone with questions related to this kind of issue should consider speaking with an attorney.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Lockdown lifted at 3 North Allegheny schools," Molly Born, Dec. 17. 2013

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