Girl found restrained in Addison school bathroom
A girl was found restrained inside a bathroom Friday morning at Indian Trail Junior High School in Addison, prompting a three-hour lockdown of 1,800 students while police searched the building for intruders, authorities said.
Addison police began searching immediately after receiving the 9:44 a.m. call saying the girl had been found restrained, police Director Timothy "Bill" Hayden said.
No suspicious people were found, so students at Indian Trail and the neighboring Army Trail Elementary School were released from lockdown about 1 p.m.
"The outcome of the search was there was no dangerous situation for our students," District 4 Superintendent John Langton said.
The girl, a juvenile, was taken to a nearby hospital. Hayden would not elaborate on the girl's condition or how she was restrained because the investigation is ongoing.
Addison police are investigating security footage from Indian Trail's entrances as well as visitor logs to try to identify a suspect, Hayden said. They are continuing to interview possible witnesses.
Langton said the district kept parents informed with two automatic phone messages and updates posted on the district's website. He also said he twice addressed a large group of parents who gathered at the scene worried about their children and hoping for more information.
"They came and asked relevant questions," about security protocols, he said.
Exterior doors at all District 4 schools are checked frequently to make sure they are locked and each school requires all visitors to check in, Langton said.
Students were released from the "hard" lockdown, in which they stayed locked in a classroom with the lights off away from windows, because nothing suspicious was found at Indian Trail and police deemed it safe.
"The search didn't reveal anything at all — no suspicious packages, no suspicious people — the facility was completely secure," Hayden said.
Students confined to a single classroom for hours hurriedly exited the school just before 3 p.m., with some rushing into the arms of parents who had come to the scene.
"My daughter texted me at 12:30. She said 'Mom, I'm scared. I snuck my phone so I could text you,'" said Vicki Reichel of Addison, whose daughter, Grace, and son, Robert, are in sixth and eighth grades, respectively, at Indian Trail. "That's one of those texts that it was scary to get from your kid."
Reichel said the duration of the lockdown concerned her and she wished the district had more people available to answer parent phone calls.
Langton said he understands parent safety concerns, but children would not have been released from lockdown into an unsafe situation. He said the school will continue to evaluate its security procedures as police uncover details of what happened to the girl.
"As the investigation continues, I hope we can learn more so we can determine if there actually was a breech in our security," Langton said.
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