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Mahwah schools locked down after lost substitute teacher arouses suspicion

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

UPDATE: Four Mahwah schools were locked down this morning after a substitute teacher unsure of where he was supposed to work went from one to another.

The high school was already in session and children were headed to class at the Joyce Kilmer, Ramapo Ridge and Lenape Meadows schools when police got two calls of a suspicious person just before 8 a.m.

A man in a t-shirt and baggy pants with something in his pocket was going from school to school, they said.

The fact that he was moving worried authorities, who sent 10 marked and unmarked units.

A parent told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that the 60-something teacher apparently was unsure where he was supposed to report this morning. So he parked at the high school, then went from one elementary school to the next. All four schools are within a quarter-mile of one another on Ridge Road.

“Protocol for suspicious incidents was immediately put into place and these schools were placed in a modified lockdown,” Schools Supt. C. Lauren Schoen said in a message to parents. “This means that all doors remain locked and no one is permitted to enter or exit the schools. Students and staff follow their regular schedule except for outdoor activities.”

Police caught up to him and got the situation squared away.

One parent told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that he was relieved that it was nothing serious and grateful that police pursued the report so quickly and diligently.

“It’s always wise to play it safe,” he said. “You don’t want to alarm people, but you want to be sure that it’s taken care of properly, and it was.”

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