Local News

Cumberland Schools Crackdown on Parent, Visitor Trespassing

Posted February 25, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Every school in Cumberland County has a sign on its entrance that instructs visitors to check into the office. A lot of parents disregard the rule.

As a school resource officer, David Hubbard's job is to keep law and order in the schools.

He says he can often get the students to follow the rules, but that is not always the case with parents.

Hubbard says the rule is established for safety reasons, but "they're ignoring it and going straight where they need to go, to the teacher and classroom, and not letting us know."

So now, the resource officers will get tough. If anyone is caught roaming through the halls or in a classroom without a visitors pass, they could be charged with trespassing.

Administrators support the crackdown.

"If you have just one intrusion because of lack of security or lack of checking passes, the school's ultimately responsible," says Assistant Principal Paula Thompson.

The penalty seems harsh, but parents and visitors who do check in properly support the decision.

"We've got to do something to keep them safe because there is a lot of danger out there," says parent Colleen Lovec.

"If it's a school policy to check in, you should check in so no one will be hurt," says visitor David Douchee.

School Resource Officers say they are trying to get the word out so they will not have to charge anyone with trespassing, but they are prepared to do so if the rules cannot be followed.

The penalty could be six months in jail or up to a $500 fine.