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Man posing as janitor asked to leave Prairie High School

An unknown man apparently pretending to be a janitor wandered into Prairie High School on Wednesday afternoon, several hours after classes broke for the day.

Battle Ground Public Schools spokeswoman Rita Sanders said the man entered the campus, located at 11311 N.E. 119th St., Vancouver, sometime around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday was an early-release day, with students leaving at 11:30 a.m. for the day.

A school employee approached the man to ask him why he was on campus and, upon learning he didn’t work for the district, asked him to leave, Sanders said. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, which staffs a school resource officer on campus, is investigating.

Security-camera pictures of the man, who appears to be dressed as a janitor while mopping a hallway, circulated on messenger application Snapchat following the incident. The district sent a message to parents Wednesday afternoon. No one was hurt and no damage occurred to school property.

Sanders did not know if any students were on campus for sports or clubs at the time.

Battle Ground Public Schools is eying $14 million in levy-funded school improvements over the next three years, including additional fencing and entry security at Prairie’s campus.

“Prairie was built in the 1970s and is a more open campus than others,” Sanders said. “That’s one of the things we’ll be addressing with some levy money starting this spring and summer, making some much-needed security upgrades at our school.”

There’s always a monitor, administrator or security guard near the school entrance during the school day, Sanders said. Visitors to the school are supposed to check in, wear an ID while they’re on campus, and then check out.


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