R.J. Vial Elementary was locked down for about half an hour on May 1 as the St. Charles Sheriff’s Department investigated student reports of a stranger lurking in the wooded area near the school.
Rochelle Cancienne, spokesperson for St. Charles Parish Public Schools, said that some students noticed someone they did not recognize in a wooded area adjacent to the school located in Paradis. The students reported it to school authorities who contacted the sheriff’s office.
“As a precaution they locked down the school,” Cancienne said. “The Sheriff’s office did not find anybody there when they arrived.
Amy Matherne, mother of a 6th grader at R.J. Vial, thinks the school handled the situation appropriately.
“My son said the school announced around 3 p.m. that the children wouldn’t be able to leave because an incident had occured outside,” said the Bayou Gauche mom. “All the parents were called later by the automated system and were told what had happened,”
Cancienne said that in light of the recent school shootings, most recently the one that took place at Virginia Tech University, people are a little on edge.
“Two thumbs up for the kids though,” Cancienne said. “They recognized something out of place and took the proper action.”