TV station stunt prompts state-wide school security bill

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kirkwood high school

(KTVI) – A Missouri lawmaker wants to pass a bill that would make it a felony to “intentionally make a threat to the security of a public school or building” in order to expose security issues.

Missouri State Representative Stacey Newman wrote in her blog on the Huffington Post website that she filed House Bill 1522 on Thursday.  If it passes, Newman says it would keep incidents like the one created when KSDK-TV sent a photographer with a hidden camera into Kirkwood High School.

The school went on lock down for nearly an hour when the photographer left the office and school officials didn’t know who he was or where he had gone.

The Channel 5 staff member left his name and cell phone number with an office assistant after asking to speak to a security staff member.

“No one notified this was maybe a test,” Kirkwood Supt. Tom Williams said.  When the staff member failed to answer his cell phone, and three calls to the Channel 5 newsroom went unanswered, the lockdown was ordered.

In the Huffington Post blog, Newman says, “Terrorizing suburban Kirkwood students, teachers and staff, particularly in a community where six years ago a gunman killed six at a Kirkwood City Council meeting, including my friend Councilwoman Connie Karr along with two police officers, shows their complete insensitivity and lack of responsibility.”

KSDK later apologized for the incident.

Read House Bill 1522

12 comments

  • Adama

    Because a writing a check is going to solve the problem Bill. Plain and simple the school security failed. Kirkwood should be more worried about fixing the problem they have with their security. nuff said

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    That’s our politicians for ya – blame the messenger and not the problem. KSDK, doing nothing malicious whatsover, as it’s on tape for the world to see, exposed they have some pretty serious problems with security there.

    They PROVED a man could walk in there and be unescorted for up to half an hour before somebody would notice – enough time to kill lotsa kids. THAT is the problem parents there should be worried about – I know I would and I’d be demanding answers from Kirkwood High administrators.

    Instead, take the easy route and blame KSDK for this. Good thing it wasn’t a nutcase with a gun – he could have done some real damage there due to their NEGLIGENCE.

    I agree with Adama – ’nuff said.

    P.S. And Stacey is a Democrat – i figured she’d be a Republican, but I’m ashamed this came from a Democrat. Maybe they are all the same, huh?

      • Gbes

        KSDK had no right to go into a public school campus and cause fear to hundreds od children, teachers and parents! If you think they were ‘ok’told with what they did, then you have no clue!! Read all of the articles published on this story, and I think you might change your view. While the district will take this opportunity to evaluate the KHS campus security, they caused unnecessary trauma to hundreds of people! If they would have confirmed he was a reporter for KSDK, none of this would have happened. They refused to confirm, even after they were told the school would go on lockdown, so shame on them! They could have avoided this entire situation with a simple answer, but KSDK chose not to.

  • Jac

    Because they should be reporting the news, not making it. Why didn’t ksdk contact the police or city hall before hand? And why Kirkwood? They had a shooting not to long ago. That was insensitive to that community. It was a total ratings grab for pure shock value plain and simple.

  • juju

    Ther is no excuse to cause that kind of fear in innocent children. It is terrorizing to be placed on lock down and not know if you are going to be hurt. These are schools, not jails. There are other ways to test the safety of schools and districts and law enforcement have the responsibility to handle this in a safe way, not the local news station.

    Would you want some stranger barging in your home just to report on how there is a lack of security? Truth be told, there is no WYoming to make our schools 100% safe.

  • Albert Stix

    I have not read the bill yet but the idea sounds very reasonable. KSDK should have known better than to create news. Has anyone at the station been held accountable for this really dumb idea? I’m trying to figure out how I would feel if they had pulled this stunt at my kid’s school.

  • Tina Gambino Evans

    if the school would have been secure at the front like most schools. Then there wouldn’t have been a problem. Also if security would have came up like they asked there would have not been a problem. Kirkwood school district had nothing in place. They were in the wrong not ksdk!

  • Becky

    i don’t think that the bill is a good idea. It’s already crazy trying to get inside the school to pick up your children and this is going to be done in the wrong way and cause more problems then solutions.

  • Nicole

    The KHS campus is an open campus, which makes it nearly impossible to have the school “secure at the front”. My child is a student at KHS and while I feel that there is more security needed, the manpower that was required, the fear and panic that the faculty, students and parents felt, those are things that KSDK should have to account for. KSDK is absolutely accountable and should be held that way.I can understand how people who were not personally involved nor that did not have a child at the school and did not receive such a terrifying call can say shame on KHS. Shame on KSDK for using my feelings, and those of my child, his friends and teachers, to get ratings.

  • Deborah

    At least the vulnerability was exposed. Thankyou channel 5. Maybe the school will not be asleep at the helm when a real gunman comes knocking.

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