Newberg School District officials are using a recent security breach as a learning opportunity moving forward.
On Friday, an unidentified man gained access to Ewing Young Elementary School, located on North Valley Road several miles to the west of Newberg. According to Gregg Koskela, district spokesman, the school followed protocol in letting the man enter the building since it appeared he took the correct steps in approaching the front office.
From there, the man was directed toward a faculty restroom away from students. Koskela said the man did not make contact with any students in the building during the "matter of minutes" he was in the building and that no school activities were disrupted by his presence.
"We're really grateful that safety procedure didn't let him contact students," he said.
Koskela said Principal Brian Wood escorted the man from the building before police arrived, despite initial reports that police had to remove the man. Koskela did say police spoke with the man later once they found him at a location away from the school.
Koskela added that on advice from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department, the district will not release any information as to why the man entered the school or what it was he was after. He said this is to ensure the school always remains safe and not reveal the school's safety procedures.
"We emphasize all procedures are to make sure we keep the students safe," he said.
Koskela said after this event the district will review its safety procedures and protocols. He added that Superintendent Joe Morelock, Wood and the school resource officer all met, and school officials were told they took the right steps in ensuring student safety.
"We'll use this as a teaching scenario," Koskela said. "We never want stuff like this to happen."
NDPD's public information officer did not respond to requests for comment by the time this story was posted Tuesday afternoon. It was not immediately clear what consequences the man may face or if he was arrested.
"We're grateful everyone was safe, we're grateful there was a good solution, and we're working to make sure the schools are as safe as they can be," Koskela said.
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