Father Uses Cell Phone Video to Question Security at East Haven School

By Amanda Raus
|  Friday, Oct 11, 2013  |  Updated 12:21 AM EDT
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Father Uses Cell Phone Video to Question Security at East Haven School

School security is being questionted after a father was able to walk into his child's school unattended and used his cell phone to record video inside the halls.

When Angelo Appi, Junior went to pick up his daughter at Joseph Melillo Middle School in East Haven Wednesday after school, he saw something concerning.

“I noticed that the front door of the school was open, and I was there about 15 minutes early, and I waited for a while and I didn't see the door getting closed, and I got concerned,” said Appi.

So Appi took out his cell phone and started recording.

“As I walked in the door, there was some school children sitting at a desk, right outside of the office doing some school work.  We engaged in a little conversation, hello, how are you?  Then I walked into the office, and when I walked into the office to get my daughter, I was in there for a good 40 seconds before anybody asked me who I was,” said Appi.

Appi says he wasn't asked how he got into the building; he wasn't asked to sign his daughter out of the school and wasn't asked for identification. 

“There's children that are in there, and God forbid I had a criminal intent,” said Appi.

School Superintendent Dr. Portia Bonner was made aware of the video Thursday morning after speaking to the principal at the middle school.

“It was concerning that someone was able to enter the building, but the first question to me was what time of day did this occur?  And found out it was actually after the end of the school day.  It was 3 o'clock.  The students are released from school at 2:20,” said Dr. Bonner.

Dr. Bonner says the volleyball team had propped the door open to bring in equipment.  Normally the doors are closed and locked with a buzzer system for visitors.  She says the building has a number of security measures in place, including cameras that caught Appi walking around.  However, she also says that this incident is making the school district look at its after school policies more closely.

“We have to be vigilant with our coaches in terms of nope, you cannot prop the doors open unfortunately, you're going to have to use the protocol in terms of moving equipment in and out of the buildings.  It will be a little bit of inconvenience, too for parents because they'll have to be buzzed in, but we'll have to put some protocols in place,” said Dr. Bonner.
 

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