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North Allegheny limits students' access to bathrooms

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 9:30 p.m.

North Allegheny school officials on Wednesday shut down access to most of the restrooms in the intermediate school and are requiring students to sign in and out of the ones that remain open.

“An inappropriate statement” written in one of the boys bathrooms prompted the move. District officials said they notified McCandless police.

“After assessing what was written ... we do not believe there is any credibility to the statement. However, we believe that someone is trying to disrupt our school day,” a notice sent to parents stated.

School officials declined to say what was written in the bathroom.

After Wednesday's school board meeting, Superintendent Robert Scherrer said limiting access to the restrooms will “allow us to monitor the places where students are going a little more effectively so we can hopefully avoid any more things being written.”

Students are scheduled to begin summer break June 3.

The notice to parents said the bathrooms will remain closed until the end of the school year or until the vandal is identified. It also said the only restrooms that will remain open will be the ones in the foyer of the auditorium and, during lunch periods, the ones adjacent to the cafeteria.

The district said it will station teachers at the entrance of the open restrooms to monitor who enters and leaves and that students will be required to sign in and out.

In a separate incident, a student this month wrote a sentence in a boys bathroom stall that included the word “bomb” and the date “May 24.”

On Monday, May 23, the school was closed immediately after classes concluded, and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in to conduct a sweep of the building.

On May 24, students were not allowed to bring backpacks to school, and they were checked as they entered the building. Students carrying laptop computers were asked to remove them from their cases so they could be inspected.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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