The principal of Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts in Anoka has been placed on leave pending an investigation, Anoka-Hennepin School District officials said on Thursday.

District officials would not disclose the nature of the investigation, but district spokeswoman Mary Olson said it did not involve the school.

"We do have information that this in no way involves Lincoln students and their safety," she said. "We can assure people that the students are safe and they were not harmed."

The principal, Todd Protivinsky, was placed on what district officials call "non-disciplinary" leave and will be paid while on leave. Olson said she didn't know how long the investigation will take. In the meantime, Deb Shepard, principal of Rum River Elementary School in Andover, will take over as interim principal. Olson said Shepard was able to take over at Lincoln because Rum River has an assistant principal who can take over in her absence.

NORMAN DRAPER