A student at Providence's Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex was assaulted on Wednesday morning, after another student allowed intruders to enter the building through a side door, the district said.
Once they got into the building, the two intruders ran down a hallway and attempted to mug an 18-year-old student, who was getting a drink of water, according to a police report. One of the intruders hit the student in the back of the head with a pistol.
When the student refused to give up his cell phone and fought back, the intruders fled the scene.
The high school was placed on lockdown, briefly, about five minutes after the intruders entered the building, according to the district's spokeswoman, Laura Hart.
"Our school buildings are secure buildings, but they are only secure when you follow the rules of security," Hart said.
Those rules require visitors entering the building to check in at the front desk. The school also has security cameras, and footage from those cameras is being used by investigators and school staff, who are looking into the incident.
"If however, somebody in the building lets someone in a rear door, that’s not following the protocol and that’s making other people unsafe," Hart said, adding, "there are serious consequences that can happen for a student that does that, or an adult."
According to police, the student who was assaulted sustained a minor cut, and was treated by the school nurse.
The district is sending messages home to students and families, reminding them of the security rules.
"The most important piece is, for everybody's safety, don’t open doors to people you don’t know," said Hart. "Don’t open doors to people who aren’t supposed to be there."