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Drama at Duke Ellington

Students at Ellington School of the Arts High School were focused on their AP exams Monday when things started to go south in a hurry. First, a power outage in Georgetown left the school without lights for about four hours starting at 12:15 p.m. While some students headed home, others remained in the school auditorium waiting for the power to return.

Then, according to a letter home from head of school and CEO Rory Pullens:

"Another, and probably more disturbing situation, occurred when a man, unassociated with any Ellington student or staff, gained entry into the building during lunch time after signing in and going through security check. Once in the building he began to verbally threaten students and staff loudly, displaying potential for violence."

No one was injured, Pullens said. The police were called, and the man had no weapons. Some students were clearly shaken by the incident, which, coupled with the power outage, generated "much speculation if the two were connected." Pullens said they were not.

One Ellington parent, who asked not to be named because she doesn't want to draw attention to her child at school, said parents have been worried for some time about the number of unsecured doors at Ellington."We don't seem to get any focus," she said. "Now a poor, unbalanced man gets in."

Pullens said in his letter that he would meet with the school security team "to reassess the protocol that allowed a visitor to sign in without clearly indicating who he was coming to visit."

By Bill Turque  |  May 11, 2010; 3:18 PM ET
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This situation sounds really scary. Unfortunately there are many schools with the exact same problem. As a parent I am most concerned that elementary schools are having the same problem.

With the incident at Ellington a tragedy was averted but one day something really horrible is going to happen. This is something that warrants immediate attention. All schools should be inspected.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | May 11, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

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