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Man at Andover school raises concern, brings district response

  • September 20, 2013 - 9:33 PM

The Anoka-Hennepin School District alerted students and their families Friday that a man had been seen behaving “in a manner that seemed suspicious” at an Andover school and near two playgrounds earlier this week, upsetting parents who accidentally learned of the incident after it was posted on Facebook.

The man, who was seen near the school Tuesday, has been identified by the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and is known to school district officials, the district wrote on its Facebook page Friday. “While the man’s behavior may seem strange, he did nothing illegal at the school and he has done nothing to lead district officials to believe he would harm anyone,” the Facebook message read.

“We’re concerned for the safety of our students and any strange or suspicious behavior should always be reported,” Superintendent Dennis Carlson said Friday.

A memo concerning the man was intended for staff only but forwarded to others and ultimately posted on Facebook. The district did send a phone message to parents late Friday afternoon, saying the man in question will be issued a “no trespass order for school property” by the sheriff’s office.

But the Facebook notification had already ignited some heated responses. Using the school Facebook page as its forum, some questioned the timing, asking why they weren’t alerted immediately after the man had been spotted.

“I am appalled,” wrote one. “We parents have a right to know when something happens.”

“You have no business keeping information like that from us,” wrote another.

Paul Levy

© 2014 Star Tribune