Abbeville, LA (KPEL News) - Once upon a time, people would visit schools without having to sign in or go through some sort of detector. School yards in Louisiana were largely open or, at least, had easy access. It was accepted as a matter of fact that no one, unfamiliar or not, would harm children.

For Louisiana and every state in our country, that time has long since passed.

Today, school doors are locked at all times, and fences surround every single yard. Those mechanisms exist not to keep students in, but to keep people who with nefarious motives out.

Students are trained with the "see something, say something" mentality, and parents are more comfortable for it. Unfortunately, we see too many sad events that involve threats to our most precious treasures, our children.

On Monday, January 22, 2024, a student at North Vermilion High School near Maurice, Louisiana, saw someone unfamiliar walking on the campus. He was wearing a camouflage jacket. As they are taught, the student reported it to an authority figure.

The school was locked down at 10:47 AM.

The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Department, along with the Special Response Team, responded quickly to ensure the safety of the students.

Sheriff Mike Couvillon said that his officers were able to determine that the man in the camouflage jacket was the school's groundskeeper and presented no threat.

The school resumed normal operation at 11:50 AM.

Sheriff Couvillon praised the student for being proactive and reiterated his department's dedication to the safety of Vermilion Parish schools:

Although the incident was a false alarm, it is an example of a student being observant and diligent in reporting what could have been a real incident. The safety of our schools largely depends upon the students doing their part and today it worked. As with every incident, a post incident review is being completed with recommendations for improving school safety and reducing false alarms.

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