There were some anxious moments Thursday afternoon at White Hall Elementary in Madison County.
Students who were outside said they saw a man along the campus fence near the playground, which aroused suspicions among some faculty and staff, according to a spokesperson for the school district.
As a precaution, the students were ushered into the school building and the facility was put on lockdown.
Law enforcement officers arrived quickly and secured the campus perimeter.
Investigators said the man along the fence turned out to be a Madison County Detention Center inmate who was part of a work release team picking up trash at the nearby school bus garage on North Keeneland Drive.
Police said the inmate wasn't charged, but was returned to jail.
Coincidentally, the lockdown went into effect as local agencies were conducting an exercise in Berea to practice their response to a school shooting.