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Madawaska Elementary School placed on ‘heightened security’ for two days

MADAWASKA, Maine — School officials kept students inside Madawaska Elementary School on Wednesday and Thursday for security reasons in response to information provided by an “outside agency.”

On Wednesday, officials sent the following message to parents:

“We currently have the building under heightened security due to information we received yesterday from an outside agency. The students’ school day will remain the same while we maintain and ensure student safety. Should you have any questions, please call 728-3346.”

Students were kept inside the building for safety reasons on both days, according to Superintendent Gisele Dionne. She said school officials ensured that the building was secure and no one was allowed to enter without photo identification. An officer from the Madawaska Police Department also was on site both days.

“The student day inside the building went on as usual,” Dionne said. “We had a police officer observing the building while students were in session.”

The school was not in an official “lock down,” according to Dionne and Police Chief Ross Dubois.

“This was a precautionary measure based on a notification and information received from an outside agency,” said Dionne, who declined to name that outside agency or comment on the nature of the information.

“We are not allowed to provide more information due to confidentiality laws,” the superintendent said on Friday. “However, we want to assure parents that student safety is a priority and we will continue to respond to information received from law enforcement and other credible agencies.”

On Friday, everything was back to normal with no more heightened measures place, she said.

Madawaska schools typically are locked throughout the day anyway, according to Dionne. Cameras are located on all school properties, inside and outside, she added.

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