How Secure Are Area Elementary Schools? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

How Secure Are Area Elementary Schools?

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A concerned parent, who also is employed at Fargo Public Schools, called us this morning to blow the whistle after seeing an investigative story on the Today show about security of schools around the country.

She said we needed to find out why elementary schools in the Fargo-Moorhead area have little to no security at the front, so Valley News Team's Mellaney Moore did some investigating of her own.

She went into several area schools with a hidden camera to see just how safe our students really are. She found that in the middle of the school day, as a stranger, she could walk right into one of the area's elementary schools.

Mellaney visited three schools Dec. 11. The first was an elementary school in West Fargo. As she walked in and passed the front desk, there were no questions asked.

She saw classrooms and students waiting in line to eat in the cafeteria.

She passed staff and faculty in the hallway without any questions before showing herself out and heading to the second school.

Mellaney was surprised to find that at the second school in Fargo, she still wasn't intercepted by any sort of security.

She walked alongside students through the hallways of classrooms, lockers and even faculty. One can't even imagine what could happen. 

Mellaney even met one faculty member who was more than willing to direct her to any classroom:

"Are you looking for the kindergarten wing or the first grade wing?" she asked.

Instead of asking who Mellaney was, why she was there and if she had stopped to sign in at the front office. Again, she showed herself out.

Her last school was an elementary school in Moorhead. She thought that surely this time there would be security, but again, she walked in without a problem.

She saw common areas, classrooms and got a tour of the school's library. Nobody ever asked who she was.

The security expert in the Dec. 11 Today show report said the first and best line of defense is at the front door of any school.
Mellaney reached out to all three school districts for a response and only heard back from West Fargo. They say they have funds available to change the way someone can enter their elementary schools, routing all foot traffic through the office. Construction would be completed next year as long as plans are passed in January.

As far as Fargo and Moorhead Public Schools, we are still waiting for a response.






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