Kayla Farris Churchill, ready with a fake boy’s fake name, went to the gates of four Freetown-Lakeville schools on Thursday, gained access and walked around.
“I was hoping that I would get caught, teased, or stopped, or interrogated, or fired, or something, even though it would hurt,” WBSM’s Barry Richard told Friday. “I wasn’t expecting someone to come in and nothing would happen.”
He said he ratted himself out after walking the hallways of Apponequet District High for 25 minutes.
“I said to the PE teacher, ‘Hey, I’m technically an intruder. You should probably call the principal.’ I was disgusted at that point. This proves that schools are completely unsafe and anyone can really get in.”
Freetown-Lakeville Schools Investigated
Churchill, the mother of two Freetown-Lakeville students, decided to test security in the area amid growing concerns that she claimed authorities were not addressing her satisfactorily. Feedback from other parents on social media has been mixed, with some praising Churchill for uncovering weaknesses, while others questioning his approach.
It is unclear whether Churchill’s actions are being investigated by law enforcement. The Freetown and Lakeville police departments did not respond to a request for comment from the WBSM early Friday afternoon.
“Of course I don’t think I should be blamed,” Churchill told WBSM’s Barry Richard. “I didn’t do it in bad faith. I didn’t do it to scare anyone. I’m shocked that this happened. I think it’s more the schools are wrong.”
The school district is conducting its own investigation.
Freetown-Lakeville District School District Superintendent Alan Strauss said in a letter to parents Thursday night that safety is the district’s “first priority” and that protocols are being reviewed for each building.
Strauss said Churchill tried to get into five schools in the area on Thursday with a made-up boy name, and succeeded in all but Freetown Elementary. Strauss wrote that at Assawompset Elementary and High School, he did not report to the main office after the bell had rung, which was the normal procedure. At Apponequet, Strauss confirmed that Churchill spoke to a staff member and several students who reported him to the building leadership.
“Our investigation will collect detailed statements to ensure an accurate accounting of what has been said, and this will determine the next steps,” Strauss said.
Freetown-Lakeville Parents Want to Be Heard
Strauss had not yet responded to a request for comment from the WBSM Friday afternoon.
He closed his letter to the parents, saying that no one was “threatened” during the security breaches.
Churchill said he was “infuriated” at being able to access buildings so effortlessly.
Stunned by the deadly school attack in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year and its impact on his 6-year-old son, Churchill said he shared his safety concerns with various district officials but “got nowhere”.
Other parents share his anger, many raising their voices in a special Facebook group for neighborhood families.
“We got angry in Freetown. We got fed up in Freetown,” Jean Leate told WBSM. “We’re not going to roll over and stay quiet about it.”