unauthorized person image
Is an invited parent on school property during school hours considered an unauthorized person?

A mother in the Ferguson-Florissant school district was arrested for entering her son’s classroom without signing in at the office, even after school officials buzzed her into the building as a known parent.  She had come to the school after the school had called her and requested she come to the school, Walnut Grove Elementary, as her special needs son was having some difficulties.

From KMOV.com and St. Louis County mother furious after being arrested for consoling son:

 

After getting the call, Williams came up the Ferguson – Florissant school where she was buzzed in by school officials.

“I saw a teacher and she said Ms. Williams what is wrong? I said something is wrong with Mikey and proceeded to go straight to my son,” said Williams.

She got to her son’s classroom and immediately started to console him. Then the school principal informed her she was violated school policy by not signing in.

“I didn’t sign the book, but I had to check on my son. You can bring me the book, She said oh no, I’ve already called the police. You called what,” said Williams.

Calverton Park Police responded to the call that came out as an “unauthorized entry to a school.” The school was also put on a 12-minute lockdown and a letter was sent home to parents.

“They escorted me away from my son, who already has emotional distress. Four officers told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back, I was under arrest,” said Williams.

She was taken to the police station on trespassing charges but Williams said she is a known parent. In fact, she met with the principal on Wednesday about a separate issue.

She felt her arrest was unnecessary.

When asked if there needs to be discretion used, Williams said, Yes, I feel like today I got arrested for being a concerned parent of my child.”

 

What does Ferguson-Florissant district policy state about parent classroom visits?  From Policies and Procedures of the Ferguson-Florissant district link:

(click on graphic to enlarge)

ferguson florissant parent visit

Here is the “unauthorized entry to a school” policy for which she was arrested:

unauthorized person

Do you think an invited parent to the school, buzzed in by school staff, a known person to that staff would be considered an unauthorized person?  According to the mother, the school immediately called the police and did not give her the opportunity to sign in.  If so, the school must have thought this invited mother, buzzed in by staff was a “real or potential threat to building security”.  Was she a threat to building security because she didn’t sign in at the office?

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