An NBC investigation shows just how easy it is to gain access to several schools throughout New Jersey and New York.
NBC's "Today Show" put school security procedures to the test in a special report to mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The report by Jeff Rossen, a national correspondent for the "Today Show," aired today. Rossen attempted to enter five schools in New Jersey, including Livingston's Mount Pleasant Middle School, and New York.
While Livingston was among the schools “that did everything right" regarding safety procedures, according to the district, Rossen was able to gain access to a school in Maplewood and walk around the school's hallways for several minutes before being questioned.
What do you think about the report, Livingston? Is this an appropriate way to test school safety measures? Share what you are thinking in the comments section below.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, Rossen was buzzed into the main entrance of Tuscan Elementary School in Maplewood. In the video, Rossen intentionally did not check into the main office and proceeded to wander the hallways. He even poked his head into a classroom to ask a teacher for directions at one point.
The incident has stirred up concerns of school safety in Maplewood.
“I found last week's events disturbing on many levels,” said Maplewood PTA President Alan Stephenson. “I know safety issues at Tuscan are of paramount importance to you all, especially after last week’s visit from the investigative reporter.”Rossen also gained access to Livingston's Mount Pleasant Middle School that day, but was immediately stopped and questioned by staff.
When Rossen was buzzed into Mount Pleasant Middle School, he again attempted to walk the hallways without signing into the main office. However, he was spotted by a staff member and questioned upon entering the building, said Superintendent John Alfieri.
“Immediately one of our secretaries jumped up and caught him,” Alfieri said.