TV station stunt prompts state-wide school security bill
(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.