AUBURN — Auburn Middle School was placed on “yellow lockdown” Wednesday morning, keeping students out of the halls for about 20 minutes while administrators and the school resource officer investigated what the superintendent called “inappropriate words” found in a bathroom.

Superintendent Katy Grondin said the school, which has approximately 550 students, was placed in lockdown around 9 a.m. Students were confined to their classrooms while classes continued. 

The Auburn School Department has two kinds of lockdowns: red and yellow. Red is more serious, reserved for threatening situations that call for classroom doors to be locked, lights to be shut off and students to remain out of sight. Yellow is used for less-serious situations and as a precautionary measure. During yellow lockdowns, like the one on Wednesday, school continues to function.

“We want to make sure parents know at no time were students in any imminent danger,” Grondin said. “It was totally a safety precaution.”

Grondin said the words found in the bathroom were not a threat, but she declined to say what they were.

“It was handled,” she said. “It’s not necessary.”

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Parents were notified of the lockdown by robocall after it was lifted.

The school system received several calls Wednesday from parents who wanted to know more about the lockdown or had missed the robocall and its recorded message. One parent told the Sun Journal that the school did not answer his calls at first and later refused to respond to his questions about the lockdown.

Grondin said the parent wanted to know exactly what had been found in the bathroom and the school is not releasing that information.

She said calling their child’s school is the best way for parents to find out more about a lockdown. They can also call the superintendent’s office if the school is unable to take calls.

“What they did today was very appropriate, calling and checking in,” she said. “Sometimes if (a school is) dealing with something, they might not pick up right away. They should call the superintendent’s office. We’re in communication. The central office is always notified when something is happening. We keep our staff up so that they can be also fielding calls.”

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