Law enforcement seeks to identify strangers trying to access public schools in Mass. | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

At afternoon dismissal at Woburn’s Goodyear Elementary School, security is always top of mind. But even more so these days.

Police are trying to identify a man who tried to enter the school on November 9 after telling staff he needed to charge his cell phone.

He was turned away, but the incident is raising concerns.

“We live in this neighborhood, we live down the street, so it’s unnerving he tried to get into the school, he could try to get in anyone’s house, any of that is very unnerving,” said parent Patrice O’Keefe.

It turns out other Massachusetts schools have had similar encounters in recent weeks.

Lowell, other Mass. communities on alert after ‘unauthorized individuals’ try to enter schools

Enough so that the FBI shared information with law enforcement and school superintendents.

“There is nothing more important than making sure all of us are protecting our kids and our staff and we are doing the right things,” said Thomas Scott, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.

The FBI initially informed local police departments about incidents in three towns: Dedham, Needham and Woburn.

In Dedham and Needham, police have identified the strangers and determined there was no threat.

But, in Lowell this week, the school department sent a note home to parents informing them that three unauthorized people tried to get into Moody Elementary School two days ago. “It’s sad in this day and age we’ve got these issues going on,” said parent John Fraher.

And the Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Superintendents says his agency has heard reports from two other school districts of similar suspicious activity, one in North Central Massachusetts, and the other near Worcester.

In all instances, authorities say school security safety protocols were followed.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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