Freetown-Lakeville Parent Breaches School Security With Fake Name
Ready with the fake name of a fake child, Kayla Farris Churchill went to the doors of four Freetown-Lakeville schools on Thursday, gained access and walked around.
"Even though it would hurt, I was hoping I would have been tackled or tased or stopped or questioned or kicked out or something would have happened," she told WBSM's Barry Richard Friday. "I wasn't expecting that anybody can walk in and nothing happens."
After 25 minutes wandering the halls of Apponequet Regional High School, she said she ratted herself out.
"I told the gym teacher, 'Hey, I'm technically an intruder. You should probably call the principal.' At that point, I was disgusted. It just proves the schools are completely unsafe and anyone can really enter."
Freetown-Lakeville Schools Investigating
Churchill, the mother of two Freetown-Lakeville students, decided to test security in the district over mounting concerns that she claims officials have not addressed to her satisfaction. Feedback from fellow parents on social media has been mixed, with some praising Churchill for exposing weaknesses and others questioning her approach.
It's unclear if Churchill's actions are under investigation by law enforcement. The Freetown and Lakeville police departments had not responded to a request for comment from WBSM as of early Friday afternoon.
"I, of course, don't think I should be charged," Churchill told WBSM's Barry Richard. "I didn't do it with ill intent. I didn't do it to scare anybody. I was shocked that it happened. I think the schools are more at fault."
The school district is conducting an investigation of its own.
In a letter to parents issued Thursday night, Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District Superintendent Alan Strauss said safety is the district's "top priority" and protocols are being reviewed for each building.
Strauss said Churchill attempted to enter the district's five schools on Thursday with the name of a made-up child, succeeding at all but Freetown Elementary. At Assawompset Elementary and the high school, she didn't report to the main office after being buzzed in, which is the normal procedure, Strauss wrote. At Apponequet, Strauss confirms Churchill spoke with a staff member -- who reported her to building leadership -- and several students.
"Our investigation will gather detailed statements to provide an accurate accounting of what was said, and this will determine next steps," Strauss wrote.
Freetown-Lakeville Parents Want to Be Heard
Strauss had yet to respond to a request for comment from WBSM as of Friday afternoon.
He closed his letter to parents by saying "there was no threat" to anyone during the security breaches.
For her part, Churchill said she was "infuriated" that she was able to access the buildings so effortlessly.
Moved by the fatal school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year and its effect on her 6-year-old son, Churchill said she shared her security concerns with various district officials but "didn't get anywhere."
Other parents share her anger, many of them sounding off in a private Facebook group for district families.
"We're outraged in Freetown. We're fed up in Freetown," Jean Leate told WBSM. "We're not going to roll over and be quiet about this."