False information in HISD security audits?

February 16, 2010 7:11:40 AM PST
There's evidence that some Houston ISD police officers put false information in security audits. It's just one of the shockers 13 Undercover found in HISD's own records. Parents have never seen the video before. The guy in the video is Ronald Walker and he's about to show you how frighteningly easy it was to roam through Westbury High School unchallenged.

"You just can't have anyone walking in the schools with kids in there," said parent Byron Williams. "Especially my daughter."

Security cameras capture him driving into the parking lot, walking through the cafeteria, down hallways. He checks one girls' restroom, then goes upstairs. He enters a second girls' restroom and rapes a 15-year-old girl.

"We can't take that lightly, anyone walking in and out of a school like that," said Williams.

After the attack, there was increased security and student ID cards issued. But 13 Undercover has learned that just days after that sexual assault, HISD went back undercover to check Westbury's intruder vulnerability.

"Ideally they should be identified immediately when they enter the campus," said Brad Bailey with HISD Risk Management.

One of the undercover operatives went unchallenged for nearly half an hour, passing uniformed HISD police officers without being stopped, walking through the band hall, the cafeteria, and even talking to a female student. The school failed the inspection, but four years later, no one at HISD security has ever checked again.

"That's unacceptable," said Williams. "Something needs to be done about that."

"We're not doing a good job of systematically following up on this process and documenting that we are following up," said Bailey.

And we've discovered 61 Houston schools have never had the intruder test at all.

"I agree with you," said Bailey. "We were not conducting on a routine basis that we should be doing them on."

The intruder assessments are part of a required safety audit that all schools must do every three years. HISD is breaking that law, but after this, you'll probably ask if anyone at HISD bothered to read them, like we did.

"All the information you are sharing with us is unacceptable and that will not be a part of any future reports," said HISD Police Chief Jimmie Dotson.

When Durham elementary was inspected, there were limited concerns about safety brought up by the students and staff.

"Of course there was limited concerns," we said to Chief Dotson. "There was no one was there!"

"Right, I keep telling you they are unacceptable," he answered.

That's because HISD police did the security audit at night. Nobody else was there.

"If your audit does not include going through campus on a regular daily routine with students and staff there, that is not a complete audit," said Curtis Clay with Texas School Safety Center.

Reporting campus crimes is part of the audit. Holland Middle School reported two rapes and two murders in one year; 103 burglaries; don't think so. We probably would have heard if 77 teachers had their cars stolen.

The audit was done in 2008. The crime information was nearly eight years older And we probably would have heard if there were nine sex offenses at Kennedy elementary. That's what it says. Maybe they're typos. But then we started seeing schools reporting the exact same number of crimes -- 41.

"When I looked at the reports, I could see there was some information that was the same in some of the reports," said Dotson.

We counted 30 schools reporting the exact same crime information.

"Same crime, same numbers. That's simply not true," we said.

"That's unacceptable. There's no question about it," said Chief Dotson.

Then we showed the chief something else we saw.

"I don't know how these things got in there," said the chief.

A description of Kolter elementary school being in the "Jewish community." Why does that matter?

"I'm appalled," said parent Mitch Adams. "I don't know what to say. It's quite terrible they are doing this to a school of any sort."

Rodriguez elementary was listed as a school in the "Gulfton ghetto."

"None of those things have anything to do with safety and security of any of our facilities," said Chief Dotson.

And security examinations of the teacher gender at some schools -- male, female...and gay?

"It's unacceptable," said Chief Dotson. "It should not be in the security report."

Parents send some of the little kids to Farias Early Childhood Center. Their safety audit was done at night. Guess the cop didn't have a key.

"We can't play with safety and security of our students and educators," said Chief Dotson.

"What can you do? I guess that's why they have people like you," said a parent with whom we spoke.

On Tuesday night, it's a teacher's 911, panic alarms in every classroom. So why are some left broken for months? 13 Undercover Tuesday at 10pm.


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