Speakout

April 29, 2007

LAST WEEK'S ISSUE: -- Eight Anne Arundel County public schools were locked down for several hours April 18 after a man wanted on attempted murder charges showed up at a high school in women's clothing and asked to see a female student, authorities said.

The man, thought by police to be Antonio Moore, 20, of Brooklyn Park drew the suspicion of the resource officer stationed at North County High School in Ferndale, who left the man to find the girl. The girl told him that she was not expecting a visitor. By the time the officer returned to the lobby, the man was gone.

The officer alerted police, and North County and four nearby elementary schools, two middle schools and an early education center - with a combined enrollment of nearly 5,000 - were locked down, meaning that students and staff were instructed to stay in classrooms behind locked doors. Parents were told that they could not pick up their children.

Moore was arrested April 19 in Baltimore. Michael Francis, 21, the man Moore is accused of shooting and stuffing into the trunk of a stolen convertible April 14, is still missing.

Did police and county school administrators handle the situation appropriately?

Community lucky no one was harmed

My daughter attends North County High School. If the resource officer was suspicious of the visitor, why did he leave the visitor unattended in the school lobby to search for a female student? Did the resource officer leave the man under the supervision of anyone else? If not, I feel this was poor judgment on the part of the resource officer.

We were truly fortunate that during the unattended time that Antonio Moore didn't harm anyone.

Vicki Fador

Brooklyn Park

Lockdown was right decision

The schools and the police made the right decision to lock down the schools, especially after what happened at Virginia Tech.

Victor Henderson Glen Burnie

Officer should have stayed with man

The incident at North County High School where a man disguised as a woman entered the school and was confronted by the resource officer at that school was poorly handled.

The resource officer should have stayed with the person and, using his radio, contacted an administrator. The administrator should then have contacted the student's parents via the emergency number each student is to have on file and secure their permission to release her. Meanwhile, the resource officer should have kept sight of the intruder.

While I am unaware of the standard operating procedures in this situation, common sense would indicate the resource officer is not there to be a "go for," but to protect the entrance of school by unauthorized individuals.

Bill Kerns Annapolis

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