A Missouri House committee is considering a bill that would make last month's visit by a TV reporter to Kirkwood High School a felony. The KSDK reporter's visit prompted a lockdown after he wandered off unescorted and school administrators were unable to reach the TV station to verify he was working on a story about school security.
The bill's sponsor Richmond Heights Democrat Stacey Newman tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that information about school security needs to be private to ensure that procedures are effective.
But not everyone on the Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee agrees. Kansas City Democrat Brandon Ellington says it would be passing a bill to stop people from exposing the holes in a system that shouldn't have holes.
The station has apologized for the incident.
KSDK-TV led its 10 p.m. newscast Sunday night with an apology for the station's role in a lockdown at Kirkwood High School last week.
News Anchor Mike Bush said the station hadn't intended to scare students, teachers or parents when it sent a reporter to the school for an investigative piece on school security. When school personnel lost track of the reporter, they called his cell phone and learned he worked for KSDK, but they were unable to verify that he had been on assignment at the school. That's when they locked down the building as a precaution.
Bush went on to say that it doesn't matter what the station's intentions were, their actions "caused undue stress and fear."
Bush says KSDK General Manager (Lynn Beall) met with the Kirkwood Superintendent to apologize in person.
Bush says the Channel 5 news team spent the weekend evaluating what happened and what they could be doing differently. He says they've "already begun implementing changes to make sure nothing like this happens again."