4/16/2014

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KATU Investigators

Preview: How easy is it to walk around a school without being stopped?

Preview: How easy is it to walk around a school without being stopped?
KATU's Dan Tilkin managed to show up unannounced to Lake Oswego Junior High and walk around the campus without being stopped by any staff members.
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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – After the school shooting in Newtown and several other high-profile incidents, it’s no surprise that school administrators around the country are talking about safety. It’s a conversation parents are having, too.

Recently, a parent in Lake Oswego reached out to me complaining that she didn’t think her district was taking safety as seriously as it should. Marti Long was specifically concerned about Lake Oswego Junior High, where her kids will attend when they’re older.

I wanted to see for myself if her concerns were justified.

A KATU photographer and I went into the school unannounced with his cell phone camera recording. We retraced the steps Long had taken recently through the school as she tried to find the office.

People, who appeared to be staff members, walked by us several times without asking what we were doing in the building. Keep in mind that just after the Newtown shootings the Lake Oswego superintendent promised the district would re-examine school security plans.

Long said she is frustrated the district hasn’t taken more action.

“Simply locking the doors or having a parent volunteer sit outside and make sure they’re keeping track of who comes in, that seems like something any school district should be doing,” she said.

During our test, we hung out in the junior high without being asked who we were for long enough that it would be a real concern if we were up to no good.

Afterwards, we showed the school district our video.

You can see their reaction as part of my investigation about the current state of school security. The report airs tonight on KATU News at 6 p.m.

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