Inside Stories

Attempted Entry Has Lowell Schools and Police on Alert

Moody Elementary School

An effort by unauthorized individuals to enter a pair of school’s yesterday has Lowell Police and the School Department on high alert.

The attempts led Superintendent of Schools Liam Skinner to sent a letter to all district parents and staff, alerting them of the incidents. While the buildings themselves weren’t identified by Skinner in the note, a source close to the situation confirms to InsideLowell they were the Shaughnessy Elementary School on Gorham Street and the Moody Elementary School on Rogers Street. (Text of Skinner’s letter is published below in its entirety)

According to the letter, the incidents were immediately reported to LPD, which is actively investigating them and is stepping up patrols of the city’s schools. The three unidentified individuals never made it inside the schools, having been denied entry by alert staff members following protocol.

Shaughnessy Elementary School

The attempted entries mirror reports of other such incidents throughout Massachusetts, which led to school leaders being alerted prior to today’s incidents.

Lowell Police have not yet provided more information or comment, other than to say they are following up.

WCVB-TV in Boston is reporting that there were at least three individuals involved and that they attempted to enter the schools in pairs.

At the Moody School, they identified themselves as “cleaners,” while claiming to be looking for “day care services” at the Shaughnessy.

Text of Liam Skinner Letter:
“I am writing to you today with a reminder that no one will be admitted to any Lowell Public Schools building without proper identification and a legitimate reason to enter the building. Today, three unauthorized individuals were denied entry at two schools by school staff members who followed established protocol. We take these incidents very seriously and immediately reported them to the Lowell Police Department, which is actively investigating these matters while increasing patrols of the schools.  It is our understanding that law enforcement has recently been involved in similar incidents in other districts throughout the Commonwealth. As a result of these previous incidents in other districts, school leaders had been briefed in advance of today’s incidents to be extra diligent with door safety protocols. The safety and security of our students and staff are our top priority. All buildings are locked and visitors must be buzzed in by staff, through a doorbell that is equipped with video surveillance. This is a good reminder for everyone to maintain the security of our buildings by ensuring that doors close behind you when you go in or out of the building, never prop a door open, and, of course, if you “see something, say something.” We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work together to maintain the well-being of our school community.”

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