KSDK Investigation on School Safety in Kirkwood Reveals Journalists Are The Worst

Categories: Media

KSDK released this statement after uproar following its story:
NewsChannel 5 recognizes the importance of safety in our schools. As part of a continuing investigation this afternoon, we visited five local schools.

One of our employees assigned to this investigative report visited Kirkwood High School. He entered and walked his way toward the office, asking a teacher for directions after a few minutes. There, he asked if he might discuss the school's security. He identified himself by name and gave the office his phone number.

When the security official could not be reached, our employee left the premises without escort.

Approximately an hour later -- after our visit -- the high school was put on lock down. This lock down certainly was not the intent of our visit.

We will report this story tonight on NewsChannel 5 at 10 p.m.

NewsChannel 5 will continue to be vigilant when it comes to the safety of our schools and your children within.

Kirkwood School District Superintendent Tom Williams had his own stuff to say:

Dear KSD Families and Staff Members,

I wanted to provide this update to the lockdown situation at Kirkwood High School today:

At approximately 11:50 a.m. an unknown male came into the school office at Kirkwood High School and asked to speak to the school resource officer (SRO). The SRO wasn't available and the man gave his name and number. The man asked to use the restroom. The secretary directed him to the restroom, but the man walked down the hall and turned into a different hallway. At that point, the secretary became concerned the request to use the bathroom was a ruse to access the building and she immediately called our SRO. The SRO attempted to call the man to confirm that he had left the campus, but didn't receive an answer. The man's voicemail stated that he was a Ch. 5 reporter.

At that point, Ginger Cayce was notified called the news desk at Ch. 5 (multiple times) to confirm it was a reporter. The news desk wouldn't confirm or deny that it was a Ch. 5 reporter. Ms. Cayce told the news desk that we would have to go into lockdown if we couldn't get this confirmed. When it couldn't be confirmed, we had to go into lockdown.

We believe Ch. 5 should have notified the school office immediately after the "test" was completed. This would have helped our school improve security measures without going to the extreme measure of a lockdown and the panic and disruption it caused.

We will take this opportunity to review our safety measures and protocols and make changes where necessary.

We are obviously thankful all of our students and staff are safe, and appreciate your concerns and patience as we sorted through this difficult situation today. As always the safety and welfare of our students continues to be our highest priority.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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103 comments
AJ Wilkes
AJ Wilkes

Wait...we're sure it wasn't a live theater staging of "Never Been Kissed"

Kim Henze
Kim Henze

My 15 year-old daughter sat scared under a table in the dark for 40 minutes because KSDT would not confirm or deny that they were performing a test when asked repeatedly. That is not a "mistake", that is creating news during sweeps at the expense of the kids and parents of Kirkwood.

cse_ceo
cse_ceo

Any idiot who believes that the station did this for the benefit of the students and as a service to their community, is as stupid as can be. I hope channel 5 gets sued and prosecuted. Either way in this strange world, the community should turn off that channel and let them fizzle out like the farts they are.

Joshua Young
Joshua Young

This is atrocious! If KSDK wanted to do this they should have worked with school-community relations. Are they just the civil police? Can they come into my home uninvited? Yet Kirkwood High School has a School Community Resource Officer. The secretary was unsure and contacted them. They work inside the school to help address these matters, but they did not do so. Waiting an hour is simply too long! They could have MADE the reporter leave! A 40 minute lockdown? Be ready to spend some money as co-defendants for incident counseling for failing to use due diligence (KHS) and maybe a class action lawsuit (KSDK) for breach of the 4th Amendment. This investiagtive search was CLEARLY UNLAWFUL. The response thereof by Kirkwood R -7 was also UNLAWFUL (Campus Safety Act).

Steven Pursley
Steven Pursley

But this outcome was PREVENTABLE. High school campuses are not prisons. You can't "lock" kids away from danger. It just won't happen. Remember, the Sandy Hook shoot shot his way into a "secured" school.

Brett Hotze
Brett Hotze

Get your facts straight the man asked where the bathroom was but never went. Yes….security needs to be looked at but KSDK was in the wrong. Why didn't the reporter answer his phone when the school called him? Why didn't KSDK verify it was a story they were working on? Why didn't the reporter stick around to talk with school officials about about, "cracks" in security. As a Kirkwood parent I am not opposed at looking at were security needs to be addressed in our school. I am opposed at our students being scared for the "sensational journalism". Students were trembling and crying as they were texting there parents. Students saw police with guns drawn. Students were given things to protect themselves, against the, "intruder" If KSDK would exposed themselves immediately after they found the flaws in the security my student and many other student would not have to have a horrible memory as a result of stupid journalist. I also heard the reporters name is John Kelly.

Steven Pursley
Steven Pursley

Who is prepared for a Sandy Hook? Come on. The Sandy Hook shooter SHOT his way into the building.

Lisa Keithly
Lisa Keithly

I cannot even imagine the trauma the kids went through...I am ok with the reporter testing the system but when the school contacted KSDK, the company should have immediately reported that it was for a news report!!! But I guess KSDK probably hated to lose their scoop.

Christie Hemminghaus
Christie Hemminghaus

I'm sorry but be glad this was a false alarm & UPDATE the buildings. This school needs to be safer. Period. The world we live in is different than it was 10 years ago. I'm a graduate of Kirkwood as well as an educator. Be glad this man tested this before it's the real deal.

Carrie Finnesteada-Deadhead
Carrie Finnesteada-Deadhead

If ksdk was truly "vigilant" and actually gave a damn about the security of these students and staff, they WOULD NOT have broadcasted the security breach and shown the city (and all of the wackos within) every easy way to access this school! If they truly cared and didn't do it for ratings, they WOULD have allerted the school and let them know that the school needed to make changes and then asked for a time frame as to when changes could be expected, only then reporting the situation! If anything happens to a single person at Kirkwood, it will be on ksdk's head and they will have to live with their vigilante acts of terrorism!

Pwnzorrz
Pwnzorrz

Someone should "test" the KSDK offices... Producer & Journalist houses too.


Meredith Gulley
Meredith Gulley

People who are saying the ksdk worker needs to be sued and or fired need to go have their heads checked cause clearly the only thing firing in their heads is a strong surge of stupidity

Angela Boyher
Angela Boyher

Maybe instead if just leaving the ksdk worker should have said something but if I was a parent I would be furious with the school not the news station for how unsafe they r being! Go ksdk! Good job :)

Mark Cotter
Mark Cotter

Nothing is going to happen in Kirkwood? What happened to your towns mayor/board members a few years back? How do you forget this stuff? Some of you folks don't live in this world. Stop being so "poor me" KSDK did seem to fail with a post contact of the school, right away. But I want to know if my 3 kids schools can be entered without anyone talking to them. The school is more at fault than the reporter.

Barbara Huck Stefano
Barbara Huck Stefano

I got disgusted with the poor quality of reporting that I tuned out everything but the weather long ago.

David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

Maybe KSDK is simply trying to kill off a bunch of people over 30 by adding to their worries in day to day life? "BE SCARED CONSTANTLY! BURGLARS ARE LURKING IN YOUR PANTRY! YOUR KIDS WILL GET RAPED BY GRIZZLY BEARS OR GRIZZLY BEAR POACHERS--YOU'RE FUCKED EITHER WAY! PICK A SIDE TO MOLEST YOUR CHILD!" Stress less, folks. Don't let the media win in making you worry about everything under the sun to the point that you won't live long enough to see grandchildren.

Kristy Lytle
Kristy Lytle

So... the school leaves someone alone, who then leaves... school goes on lockdown and KSDK is responsible? Ummmmmm no. That's classic blame shifting. The school is 100% at fault. The school employee that left the reporter alone should be fired. Period.

Pratie Head
Pratie Head

The school can form a task force. It could consist of the gym teachers, Industrial arts teacher and part of the football team. That should be enough to take down a whimpy reporter.

Shirley H Brown
Shirley H Brown

It is always a problem when ANY news organization MAKES news rather than reporting it. What KSDK did, in the name of investigative journalism, is not really acceptable. While they may try to "justify" it, the bottom line is that their actions CAUSED problems, and they ended up being THE STORY rather than the security issues they taid they were reporting on.

Kayleigh Vogelgesang
Kayleigh Vogelgesang

That's some crap. I hope they sue the CRAP out of KSDK. Its KIRKWOOD. What the hell is going to happen in Kirkwood? Nothingggg.

Danny Valentine
Danny Valentine

Some five years after graduating, my ex paid a visit to her former school and, upon being spotted in the hall. was instructed to report to detention hall.

Wilson Sikes
Wilson Sikes

Oh my god shut the fuck up no one is going to shoot up a bunch of kirkwood kids at school, get over yourselves. What's the most exciting thing that has ever happened at that school? Ever? Some light bulbs popping.. Y'all cray. You want to know something wild? When I was in HS, there would literally be like 9 trucks during hunting season with multiple guns on racks.. In the fucking parking lot. Can you believe that? That was like 2006. We lived in the middle of nowhere, granted, but can you imagine one guy trying to shoot up a public high school only to have his reign of terror cut short by the ruthless efficiency of a compound bow? Shit on a shingle, I would totally watch that movie if it starred Mark Wahlberg

Shayne Hummel
Shayne Hummel

Yes .....today's Journalist are the worst ......ever!

Laurel Newman
Laurel Newman

This was a poorly executed plan on the part of KSDK, but for Christ's sake, I can't BELIEVE that (especially for the taxes we pay in Kirkwood and with the city's recent history of shootings) it's the one place that the kids were not safe. BUZZ PEOPLE IN like in the elementary schools and the early childhood center. I am thankful to KSDK that they obviously will be forcing, through bad PR, KHS to do what they should have been doing all along. If ever, God forbid, some kid tries to get into KHS with a gun and is stopped, we'll all be like, Thank God for KSDK that they did that story back in 2014 or else that kid would have marched right in there and killed some people.

Dean Bruemmer
Dean Bruemmer

BS. Kirkwood FAILED big time. KSDK did them a huge favor.

k_clark17
k_clark17

KSDK News Director, Mike Shipley and Journalist John Kelly violated both State & Federal Laws when they terrorized KHS to the point of lockdown


See

MRS 565.090 (Felony Harassment)

US Code 18 5B (Domestic Terrorism)

Erin Maier Borrowman
Erin Maier Borrowman

Okay, Journalism ethics 101 (that you are taught in Journalism degrees) - you REPORT the news, not MAKE it! This is not okay. In essence, it is trespassing. And the station's failure to confirm that it was a reporter is DIRECTLY responsible for terrifying hundreds of kids. In case you missed it, the school did EXACTLY what they were supposed to do. They followed someone who didn't go where he said he was going. When they couldn't find him or confirm his identity, they took all the appropriate steps. For all of you defending the station, how would you feel if your kid was in this school and spent 40 minutes in terror because of a news stunt? I bet you'd be pretty angry. I'm with Jeremy - I can't believe the people who are defending the station.

Brad Sewell
Brad Sewell

Anybody can claim to be a news reporter. The school let the reporter in based on a statement that he or she was a reporter. What if the person had a bomb or weapons? Had KSDK not done this we STILL would not know that it could be done at all. So who is to blame? The story should be that KSDK uncovered this lapse in security at Kirkwood High School. The reporter may not have been aware of what transpired in the aftermath of leaving. And there are obvious reasons such as personal safety that the reporter remain anonymous. If they release the reporter's name anybody can find him or her. The story isn't about the reporter. That person was doing a job. The story is about the school and the television station.

Traci Wagner
Traci Wagner

Yes. A mom called into Y98 this morning to state how upset she was about the KSDK journalist and that they had just had a scare recently. My question is...what kind of wake-up call does Kirkwood need to install some decent security?

kkestner61
kkestner61

so he wouldn't pee on the floor.

cse_ceo
cse_ceo

I pity those close to you Meredith, and only take a small solace at the fact that your idiotic viciousness affects yours the most.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Shut the fuck up you loudmouth cunt

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Why didn't the fucks at ksdk answer the fucking questions when the school tried to call them several times?? Fuck you, fuck ksdk and fuck the rest of these yellow journalism cock tards.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Sounds like you lived in white trash rube land. Fuck you, fuck the 9 hillbilly pick up trucks with the guns and fuck the hillbilly trash that drove them. Compound bow?? Come back to reality you fucktard, this isn't a fucking rambo movie this is the fucking real world. Idiot.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

And here we have someone throwing the 'MY TAXES!!!' angle, so fucking typical. Drop your tea party bullshit and come back to reality. What color is the sky in your world? Idiot.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Yeah let's turn all of the schools into fucking prisons because scared ass people are falling for the fucking yellow journalism. Typical stupidity. KSDK and the rest of the shitty sensationalist news teams exist as they do because fucking retards like yourself lap it up like dogs. Idiots.

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