(UPDATED: 11:08 A.M.)
Noyes Elementary students were kept inside the school yesterday for a short time around dismissal time after an unknown person was seen walking around the campus, but the Sudbury Police Department said the person did not pose a threat.
In an email forwarded to Sudbury Patch, Noyes Principal Annette Doyle wrote to parents: "This afternoon at dismissal time, an unknown young man was seen near the Parent Pick-Up area. He did not approach any children or staff. I asked him to leave campus since students were still present and he began to leave. When it took a while for him to locate his car, I contacted the Sudbury Police Department who responded immediately. They assisted him in finding his car and told me that they did not believe that he posed any danger. I understand that SED kept the children inside while this situation was being sorted out this afternoon."
Lt. Robert Grady said the person in question had been at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School during the day, working for a social service agency during a wellness fair.
The person parked his car somewhere in the vicinity of Town Hall, and when he returned, he became confused as to where he left his car.
"He had gone in the woods for a walk and was unfamiliar with the area," Grady said. "He said he understood how it could look odd. We did all our checks through the national data base, called his hometown ... there was no question of any behavior that would lead us to believe he was just confused as to where he left his car."
Grady said the police department was contacted at 3:48 p.m. by the school, and that the school was never placed in lockdown or safe mode.
One Haynes Elementary parent said she was upset she had to reach out to Superintendent Anne Wilson to get an explaination of what had happened at one of the other schools.
"The schools do a very good job of teaching our children about these risks and what to do if a situation develops. The school administration should inform the parents accordingly, as well, when a concern such as Noyes develops," Tammie Dufault said. "If the administration was concerned enough to call the police, they should work with the superintendent’s office and send a simple informational email to the parents. Rumors do more harm than facts."
In an email exchange between Wilson and Dufault, Wilson said: "The administration took appropriate precautionary steps to ensure student safety during dismissal."