NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — Keith Middle School in New Bedford was placed under a brief shelter-in-place order today after two “suspicious” individuals were seen outside of the school.

According to New Bedford Schools Community and Public Affairs Manager Arthur Motta, two individuals were seen outside of Keith Middle School at approximately 1:15 p.m. today. Both were wearing backpacks, and one of the individuals was wearing a full face mask.

Motta said that for the safety of everyone, the school briefly sheltered in place.

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New Bedford Police responded immediately and apprehended two youths, who were not Keith students.

Motta said no weapons were found, and the two never entered the school.

The shelter-in-place order was lifted after 15 minutes, and Keith Principal David Mather notified the families of students of the incident.

“As safety is our top priority, the procedure for suspicious parties outside calls for sheltering in place,” Interim Superintendent Andrew O’Leary said. “We appreciate the very quick response from police and the Keith staff for a prompt response and resolution to this situation.”

In a Facebook post, New Bedford Police said a police detail stopped the two youths in the parking lot of the Hetland Ice Arena across the street from Keith Middle School.

"They were identified as (New Bedford High School) students and brought to the main office where the matter will be handled administratively by school staff," police wrote.

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