Education officials and Lockhart Elementary School administrators are breathing a collective sigh of relief that no students were harmed by a Caucasian male who has been in and around the school campus exposing himself to students.
School officials briefed parents and guardians during a mandatory meeting Tuesday evening at the Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium. More than 600 people attended the 90-minute meeting.
School officials said they were disturbed – and notified police – when the situation was brought to their attention last week after the unidentified man prevented a female student from accessing the schools bathroom.
After a man was spotted several times around the campus, police officials detained him for questioning but later released him.
Lockhart Principal Laura Chesterfield addressed steps that have been taken to enhance campus security.
"Teachers have been asked to escort students to the bathroom, to the lunchroom, to prep sessions and to the gate at the end of the school day," she said.
School officials have also held assemblies to teach students how to remain safe in the presence of strangers.
Chesterfield asked parents to assist in providing security for their children by not dropping them off at the school earlier than 7 a.m. Not enough adult supervision is available before then.
"I arrive to work every day between 6:20 and 6:30 a.m. and almost daily there are seven to 10 students between the ages of 5 and 10 who are there without adequate supervision," Chesterfield said. "Anything can happen."
The Lockhart principal admitted that with 700-plus students at the elementary school and about 80 adults on staff, there are simply "not enough eyes to watch them."
School officials fielded questions ranging from overall campus security to school grounds maintenance.
Also addressing the parents and guardians were Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds; District Insular Superintendent Rosalia Payne; Paynes deputy, William Frett; and Dilsa Capdeville, the founder of Kidscope and a social worker who has dealt with childrens issues for many years.