Carter Polakoff
Update from Chris Ford

Dear BSA family,


I’m writing this afternoon to follow up on the events of the day.  I believe you know that we had a lock-down this morning.


This is what happened.   


Around 10:55 an individual buzzed to come into the school.  When asked to report to the receptionist office to sign in, the person instead covered their head w/ a hoodie and ran to the east stairwell and disappeared up the steps.  The person was filmed by the security camera as they entered the building.


Our receptionist immediately contacted administrators, who called the lockdown and the school police.


Our school police officer was not on site today and neither was I.  I was at a training session in East Baltimore.  When I received a message that there was a problem, I immediately left the session and returned to BSA.


Once City Schools Police arrived at BSA, they joined administrators and  began a search of the school, from the 7th floor down to the basement as well as the Brownstone.  They did not find an intruder.  Upon the conclusion of the police sweep, they offered their professional opinion that the building was safe for students.  We ended the lockdown and communicated the same to parents.


Students with legitimate, parent-approved early dismissals were allowed to leave the school.


Administration continued to review the security camera footage to try to understand better the progress of the intruder in the school.  Administration also circulated among classes to get a sense of students’ emotional status.


During one of these classroom visits, a BSA student admitted that he was the person who precipitated the lockdown.  He had entered the school at 10:55, he avoided the receptionist and ran for the stairs.  He also had the same clothes as the initial intruder. 


Disciplinary action is already underway for this student for causing this disruption.


I am very sorry this incident occurred.  It is disturbing for everyone in our community and the consequences of the experience may last for a while.  Our Student Support team and faculty are ready to help students process these events.  It also highlights the importance of controlling access to the school.  I will be talking with staff about some improvements we can make in that regard.


The responding police officers told me they were very impressed with the general student body and their behavior.  I am very proud of them in this difficult event.


Chris Ford

(Please accept our apologies if you receive this email more than one time)