I-Team: School Security Follow-Up

Updated: Wednesday, February 13 2013, 11:36 PM EST
I-Team: School Security Follow-Up story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Last week, Newschannel 3 took an unprecedented look locally at how much crime is happening inside our schools.

In the process, we didn't expect to find that the evidence we have suggests school leaders in Kalamazoo may have made a decision to report little to no crime statistics to the state, as mandated by law.

In the week since our stories aired, we have been inundated with feedback, and we picked two responses to share.

Kim Geiger Mansfield wrote in, critical of our investigation, saying "it was a low blow either way; support the schools and do not bash them in every way possible. Those people have a very difficult job to do. If the parents of our community were working harder, the schools would not have so much on their plates."

Another unnamed parent had a different view, saying, "great job uncovering the lack of reporting in KPS. Don't drop the ball on this as you are only scratching the surface of the problems. Was this really just an oversight or a deliberate effort to conceal?"

So, we took the last week to investigate that question, as to whether school leaders intentionally stopped providing that information or whether it was just a big mistake.

Last Monday, the I-Team found numerous crimes that were reported to law enforcement, but weren't reported to the state's information system as required.

Originally the school's superintendent Dr. Michael Rice blamed it on software issues in a statement to Newschannel 3.

OVer the last week, Dr. Rice has declined to answer our additional questions as we scrutinized the district's answer.

Tonight at 11 on Newschannel 3, a KPS parent, a KPS teacher, and a KPS contract worker all came to us with one message.

As parent Terry Mayer put it: "(W)e need to, as one, figure out how we can fix this problem, make sure the stats are getting to them at the state level, and fix the problem--why the cops are being called this many times to the school."

Three school leaders in other communities said the software programs available to the Kalamazoo School District--which we demoed--are so advanced these days that it makes data reporting to the state rather easy.

As a result, they believe there is no excuse for not providing the correct data.

Tonight, we'll hear from an expert, and from a KPS teacher who says change is needed.

We pressed every elected school leader in the district and we'll tell you whether anybody would sit down to find out what we found out.

To read KPS' repsonse to Newschannel 3, click here.I-Team: School Security Follow-Up
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