I TEAM: Uncovering a security gap at a local high school

EUCLID, Ohio - THE FOX 8 I TEAM has found doors left unlocked at Euclid High during classes, so we’re asking hard questions about security.

A viewer sent us cell phone video of an unlocked back door at Euclid High recorded last week, and the video showed the viewer simply walking in to the school and wandering in the hallway.

So, Tuesday at late-morning, the I TEAM went there. We found the same door unlocked. And, we found another door unlocked as well. Had we wanted to go wandering inside, we could have.

Instead, we went to the district superintendent. How could this happen at a time when there’s a national spotlight on school safety, and school shootings, and guns in schools?

Dr. Charles Smialek said, "I was very surprised.” He added, "Very disappointed and surprised that you were able to find two doors that were open."

The Superintendent said one door is used for deliveries. We noticed a buzzer. No one should be able to just walk inside. But again, we found two doors unlocked, and they all should lock automatically when they close.

Smialek said, "There was a delivery right before you came. So chances are good that that was the issue there. The second was a door that we know does stick sometimes."

The I TEAM took a look around the school and noticed the building has many, many doors on the front, back and sides. School policy says keep all of the doors locked. And, the Superintendent says school security guards are expected to keep checking the doors to make sure they’re locked.

He said, "We will remind our adults that we have to make sure that our doors are secure at all times. Our security force will understand that, and our custodial crew will as well."

Smialek says maintenance workers are looking at the door that we’re told does not always lock properly.

Families we met with children in the Euclid City Schools are alarmed by the I TEAM’s findings. One mother said, "Anybody going in and out the building. There's a lot going on in the world. School shootings, and abductions and...” Another woman said, "I find that very disturbing."

The District points out the high school has a police officer and 8 security guards on duty at any given time during the school day. Parents we met are counting on the school safety measures.

Meantime, the I TEAM has found the problem of unlocked doors somewhat common at school districts all over. Last week, we revealed how guns get into schools. Sometimes through an “unauthorized entrance.” And investigators have found kids up to no good often try to take advantage of doors left unlocked or propped open either to avoid metal detectors or adults.