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UPDATE: NSJHS placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon

— The North Syracuse Junior High School was briefly placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon while state police searched for a suspect in a nearby armed robbery.

The incident reportedly occurred at 12:10 p.m. in a vacant lot near Brewerton and Elbow roads. No one was injured during the incident.

According to an email communication from the North Syracuse Central School District, the junior high was placed on lockdown “to ensure the safety of our students and staff.” The lockdown was lifted at 1:45 p.m. and students were dismissed on time. Local law enforcement personnel were stationed at the outer perimeter of the junior high bus loop during dismissal and have remained on campus throughout the afternoon.

“I believe it was shortly after 1 p.m. we were contacted by the school resource officer from the junior high school,” Superintendent Annette Speach said. “He was sent word [by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department] that there had been an armed robbery in the area and they were conducting a search. Knowing that and knowing there was a helicopter search directly above the area of the junior high, the decision was made to lock it down.”

Speach said in North Syracuse, a lockdown means students and staff are directed to stay where they are. No one is allowed to change classes, all outside doors remain locked and no one is allowed in or out of the building. Speach, who became superintendent in July, said she knew that there had been other circumstances under which schools had been locked down, but she could not recall a specific instance. In other cases, schools had also been under a “stay-in-place” order, where the doors weren’t locked, but everyone was asked to stay where they were, particularly in a specific area of a building.

“In cases where someone is injured and needs medical help, we’ll institute a stay-in-place to get in and out quickly to care for someone without people moving about the building,” Speach said.

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