Elementary school locked down after man slipped inside, exposed - WSMV News 4

Elementary school locked down after man slipped inside, exposed himself

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Some staff at a Nashville elementary school had quite a shock after a man slipped into the school and exposed himself. It's leading to some questions about school security.

Security at Metro Nashville Public Schools has tightened over the past year, but it wasn't enough to keep someone out who wasn't supposed to be there. On Tuesday, a man escaped from his caretaker and walked into Smith Springs Elementary School in Antioch. Officers said he came in after workers let in a parent at the front door.

Police said the 40-year-old man pulled down his pants and pleasured himself in the front office. His caretaker told officers he's mentally ill.

The school's interim principal sent this statement to parents:

A resident of the community entered our building today and caused a disruption in the front office. The person had no connection to our school and the school was immediately put on lock down. The Metro Police Department was contacted and the individual was escorted out of the building by the police. At no time were our students at risk. The incident was contained in the front office with entry doors locked. We appreciate the assistance of our police department  and our front office staff. The safety of our students and staff continues to be our number one priority.

That someone could slip through is concerning to parents who live near the school.

"(We're expecting) any day now. I'm 39 weeks, so we think about that stuff all the time now, to the point where homeschooling is one of those things we do contemplate and think about because you just never know when you're sending your kid to school what could happen," said Ashley Till, an expecting parent in Antioch.

Metro Schools uses the Raptor security system. When the school buzzes someone in, they're supposed to provide their driver's license for scanning, checking for registered sex offenders or any red flags. For some, they'd like someone stationed at the doors. But they feel anything is helpful to keep their children safe.

"Of course it's a crazy world we live in these days that we have to go to these types of measures," said Chad Till, an expecting parent. "But any measure you can take to help with school safety and protecting the children is a good idea."

Metro police said officers do not plan to charge the mentally ill man for indecent exposure.

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