An East Haven father found the front door of his daughter’s middle school wide open Wednesday afternoon. Angelo Appi, Jr. took out his cell phone and began recording as he entered the Joseph Melillo Middle School on Hudson Street. Appi roamed down a hallway, spoke to students, and was never stopped or asked for identification. The event took place about forty minutes after dismissal.
“If i can walk into the school right off the street and not be challenged, somebody else can come off the street too,” said Angelo Appi, Jr. His daughter is in the sixth grade at the Joseph Melillo Middle School.
Appi shared the video taken by his cell phone on social media. The father says he wants to raise awareness about vulnerabilities in the school’s security plan.
“I thought maybe they would want to see my credentials, maybe my ID,” Appi said. “I had every perfect opportunity to walk throughout that school without being challenged, the school children weren’t afraid of me, didn’t ask me who I was.”
Thursday Superintendent Portia Bonner explained “the volleyball team had just recently removed equipment in and out of the building so that’s why it was open, but normally the door would not be open.”
Bonner, who is just two months into the job in East Haven, said she is willing to meet with parents about possibly modifying security at the town’s schools.As for Appi’s video, Bonner says “he’s brought an awareness to us and so we will review our protocols and practices and make sure we have things in place, particularly for the afterschool hours.”