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NORTH EAST — A successful search for an autistic teen who reportedly had stabbed himself in the hand with a small paring knife put North East High School into “code yellow status” for approximately 45 minutes on Thursday morning, according police and school officials.

Maryland State Police Lt. Jeff Kirschner, commander of the North East Barrack, reported that the 17-year-old boy was reported missing at 7:36 a.m. Thursday and that the search focused on neighborhoods and streets off Irishtown, close to where the teen lives and in the general area of NEHS.

Kirschner told the Cecil Whig that investigators do not know which school, if any, the teen attends. He then noted that the teen never set foot on NEHS property during Thursday’s incident.

“At no time was there an indication that our students were in danger, but because of the proximity of the incident, it was prudent to enhance our school safety protocols until the incident was contained,” NEHS Principal Dave Dollenger explained in a notification that he emailed shortly before 9:30 a.m. Thursday, after the code yellow status had been lifted.

Searchers found the boy at 8:40 a.m. Thursday on Rowles Lane, which, off Irishtown Road, is about a mile northwest of NEHS, Kirschner said. An ambulance crew took the boy from Rolwes Lane to Union Hospital in Elkton for medical treatment, he added.

The code yellow status, which had remained in effect for about 45 minutes, did not disrupt school activities, according to Dollenger.

“Students responded quickly and appropriately and carried on with classroom activities while in the code yellow. They should be commended and I thank them for their excellent cooperation,” Dollenger reported in his email.

A “code yellow status” applies when there is a potential threat outside a school, according to CCPS administrators. Some of the code yellow safety precautions include canceling all outside activities, moving students and teachers from portable classrooms into the school, limiting movement in the hallways and locking classroom doors, administrators listed. Classroom activities continue during a code yellow, they noted.

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