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Q: Are schools safe? TV station: Let's get one locked down and find out

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    It's no wonder the general public's perception of journalism is so low with stunts like this. TV reporter goes into a school, acts suspiciously without identifying himself, school figures out he's a reporter and calls his station, which refuses to confirm his identity, and so school goes into lockdown and police are called. TV station's response: we're watching out for your kids!

    It almost sounds too ridiculous to be true.

  2. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    OMG ... and it's not even sweeps. Is it?
  3. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    That's really, really dumb, and surprising in a market that size. A station in a much smaller market did that a few months ago and got rightly slammed for it. I'm surprised that (a) anyone in St. Louis thought this was a good idea, and (b) not one of them realized the shit another reporter had caught for the same stunt a fews months back.

    And bottom line, what they are attempting to "expose" is silly. There are legit investigative school safety stories to do. This is not close to being one of them.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    They should start arresting people...

    Preventing medical care to students
    Causing a public disturbance
    I'm sure there is some shit in the Homeland Security Act that can be thrown at these assholes as well.

    Seriously. He needs to be arrested. They have also set themselves up for a civil suit by parents of students with special needs.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Except, of course, that all of those charges would be bullshit.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    No, they would not be.

    My division charged a family $25,000 for a fake bomb threat their kid did. This is an adult pulling this shit.
  7. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Don't be surprised if the reporter is criminally charged, and maybe the station, too.

    On the flip side, I found some interesting things a few years back when I was delivering "academic top 10" forms to our paper's 25-ish high schools, before everyone had email:

    1. At one small, religious high school, no one knew I was there. I walked in, found the office (which was up a flight of stairs), put the envelope in the principal's mailbox, used the restroom and left.

    2. At another, there was construction near the front door, so visitors were sent to a side door near the parking lot. No one saw or greeted me until I got to the office, which was around at least two corners.

    3. At a third, when I walked in, I was greeted by a female student who said, "What up, ho?" So were several others who walked in.

    At the same time, three of the high schools had security guards at the door, and I had to show my photo ID. At one of them, the office wasn't near the main entrance, so they gave me a nametag and radioed ahead to the next checkpoint.

    So, yes, at some schools there is a problem. The TV station's approach, though, was wrong.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Back when I was in high school 25 years ago, someone called in a bomb threat to get out of a test and they evacuated the school. There was a backpack in one of the hallways (This was California where all the classrooms aren't inside a building.) and they had some robot thingy come out to make sure it wasn't a bomb. As it turns out, someone was using the facilities and left the backpack at their locker and when they evacuated didn't go back for it.

    When they caught the kids who did the bomb threat (always a dumb idea to brag about it) their parents had to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $15K for the bomb crew to go out there.
  9. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Trespassing? People at the school knew he was there and did not ask him to leave. He was not trespassing.

    Preventing medical care to students? Not even close.

    Causing a public disturbance? This is the closest, but good luck getting anyone to actually file on that, and I'm not at all sure what the reporter did would fit the definition.

    I'll skip over the "some shit in the Homeland Security Act" charges, which would be federal, and they're not going to bother with it.

    Again, I'm not defending the actions at all. They're indefensible, and the entire premise of their actions is stupid. Be happy that they'll be publicly shamed for it, because that's going to be the extent of it.
  10. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    I'm not quite sure what they were trying to prove with this. If anything it should have stopped with the reporter more or less being allowed to walk around. He could have ended it right there and just said that he was allowed to roam freely and that there is a risk with such a thing. Trying to get a freaking lockdown called is beyond irresponsible. The news station knew that would be the result. When the school called the cell phone and then the station that should have been it. To report that it took an hour or whatever to get the lockdown ordered is insane. Maybe their reporter shouldn't be hiding in an effing school. The school, while it probably shouldn't have taken so long to take action and you can never be too safe, likely knew there really wasn't a threat and probably even knew the stunt the guy was pulling. But I guess the station proved its point. And comes across as completely insensitive and loses a lot of credibility in the process.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Go into a school sometime during an unplanned lock down. See how fun it is.

    During an intruder lock down all students go to a corner of the room and bunch up, usually under a counter, in the dark with the lights out and the blinds drawn. You are to remain silent because if the person causing the lock down one of those active shooter teddy bear types, then they may come into the room to kill all of you. But other than that, it's good times.

    These drills are usually planned, but when they are unannounced, like this, people think the worst.

    You got a kid with autism or downs? They love this shit. Handle it like champs.

    And usually this lasts for five minutes or so. It's not like everyone is worried for the entire day that there might be a second intruder or the police need 20-30 minutes to clear the school.

    And, yes, he was trespassing. He was meant to stay in the office or at best the bathroom, and trespassed into other areas of the school.
  12. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Again, not defending the action. The action was foolish, and the whole premise of the story they were going after is silly. I'm also not minimizing the impact of a lockdown.

    It does not rise to the level of criminal charges. It is not trespassing. They knew he was there in a public building and did not ask him to leave. The fact that they lost track of him does not make it trespassing.
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