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January 24, 2013

While parents ask why they weren’t told about the circumstances that resulted in a school lockdown Wednesday, Principal Bill Rivard defends the action, saying his first concern is student and staff safety. He did what he was told by police and didn’t know why until later. Photo by Ed Barber

NEWPORT- An incident on Union Street Wednesday prompted the Newport City Police to call North Country Union High School, North Country Hospital, and RDI, the call center on Lakemont St., among other entities, advising they lock down their facilities.
When the call came in to NCUHS’s Principal Bill Rivard, he wasn't given a reason for the directive, but quickly followed protocol, locked all exit doors and had staff stationed at each exit to control who entered and left.
“The state has given us guidelines which are clear and specific,” said Rivard. “When we get a call like we did Wednesday, the immediate concern is for the staff and students. The students are kept in the classrooms; if they're in the cafeteria, we direct them into the kitchen and secure the room.”
The first step is to clear the hallways and move people away from windows and open areas. The severity of a lock down will determine what action should be taken within the building.
Andre Messier, principal at Lake Region Union High School, said they had an incident a couple of years ago where a shooting took place on RT 5A and law enforcement called to advise a lock down.
For more of this story, see Friday's edition of The Newport Daily Express, for Jan. 25, 2013.


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