Questions Over School Security In East Haven

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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.”

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1 Comment

  • Alaina Matheny

    I own a custom security solutions company here in the state. We specialize in school security. I would be more then happy to do a free walk through and 3 phase plan proposal for this school and any other in the state that may need updated security. We were all touched by Sandy Hook and I think we can all agree a lot of talk was talked but not a lot was done to help make CT a front runner for school security. I think it is safe to say when it comes to our kids there is no exception or reason to kick the can down the road so to speak. If any administrators or parents are interested just for piece of mind, no catches. Please feel free to contact me at any time., website