POLICE BEAT

Students kept in classrooms as police conduct search of Sullivan school

Posted Jan. 18, 2012, at 6:03 p.m.

SULLIVAN, Maine — Students at Mountain View School on Route 200 were kept in classrooms for 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon while school officials conducted a search of the building, according to officials.

Suzanne Lukas, superintendent of Regional School Unit 24, said Wednesday that school staff received information that resulted in a search of the building from about 1 to 2:30 p.m. Lukas declined to identify what the information was or what school officials were looking for but said nothing of concern was found during the search.

There are 240 children enrolled at Mountain View School, which serves pupils from kindergarten through eighth grade from Franklin, Sorrento and Sullivan, according to Lukas.

The superintendent said she was not sure when school officials learned of the information that led to the search, though she said it likely was not long before the search got under way. There was no incident that precipitated the search, she said.

Pupils were allowed to go home at the usual dismissal time of 2:45 p.m. and after-school programs went ahead as scheduled, the superintendent added.

“We had some information that caused us to follow our safety procedures,” Lukas said. “At no time were children at risk.”

Maine State Police Trooper Chris Smith said Wednesday that police assisted in the school search but took no subsequent action as a result of the search or because of the information that led to the search. He said officials were looking for a type of item prohibited at the school but declined to say what it was.

Without elaborating with details, Lukas said school officials are obligated to follow safety protocols when certain situations arise, often before they know whether there is real threat or reason for concern.

“It is the kind of thing we deal with in schools today, unfortunately,” Lukas said.

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