LYNDHURST, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Lyndhurst High School in Bergen County, New Jersey was locked down this week, after a trespasser made inside the building and ran away after being spotted.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, students at the school are allowed to go out during lunch if they return in time for classes – and they said security procedures are lax.
“They don’t check IDs,” said Rem Giurgis.
“They don’t know – not at all — they don’t check IDs at all,” added student John Contrerez. “Anyone could walk in with anything into the school – it’s really not safe.”
That is exactly what happened on Tuesday. Police said a 15-year-old from Kearny High School went to lunch with Lyndhurst High friends and walked back into the high school with them – causing an emergency shelter-in-place declaration.
“We were in a lockdown for about an hour,” said student Gabriella Borgono.
“I was locked in bathroom for hour and half because we had someone in school,” said a student named Ruby. “I didn’t know what was happening.”
Police said the school followed protocol.
“One of security personnel didn’t recognize him. He didn’t have his ID on him. He was immediately confronted by them,” said Lyndhurst Chief of Police James O’Connor.
But then, the trespasser ran off.
“He asked to use lavatory, and at that time, he bolted up a stairwell to second floor,” O’Connor said.
That sparked the emergency situation.
Parents at the high school were concerned Wednesday, saying if a student from another school could get in, there’s no telling who else could.
“IDs are only as good as they enforce them,” said grandparent Ray McCool.
“It’s better to check out the ID so you know who is who,” a father added.
“You have to look out for benefit of the kids,” McCool continued. “You know, it could happen in a second – something could happen.”
CBS2’s Baker went to speak with the Lyndhurst schools superintendent to see if there will be a security policy upgrade. She was turned away at the Lyndhurst Board of Education.
Meanwhile, Lyndhurst High School senior Jonathan Tkaczyk said no one checked his ID at the school on Wednesday.
Lyndhurst High School has more than 700 students who flood back in through one door after lunch.
The juvenile who got in on Tuesday could be charged with trespassing.