Lakeville schools to add signs in wake of security breach

Jan 23, 2023

LAKEVILLE — The Freetown-Lakeville School District will install improved signage and vestibules at its schools in the wake of a security breach in November.

Signs will likely say ‘no trespassing from 7:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. or when students are using facilities,’ said Freetown-Lakeville School District Superintendent Alan Strauss.

Strauss gave a safety update at a Freetown-Lakeville School Committee meeting on Jan. 18. He said he wants school facilities to be clear of unaffiliated people during the school day.

“I 100% support signage,” said School Committee Member Jennifer Blum.

In November, 28-year-old Freetown woman Kayla Farris Churchill, a mother of two students in the district, gained access to multiple Freetown-Lakeville schools as a result of bypassing main offices. 

Churchill said she tested the district’s security due to concerns resulting from school shootings in Uvalde, Texas and other locations.

At the meeting, Strauss said he would like to place signs near school entrances and areas that the public uses often, such as running tracks and playgrounds.

“Adding signs allows for enforcement” of protocols against trespassing, said School Committee Member Jean Fox. “If there’s no sign, you have no case.”

The district is in the process of having signs created. There is no date scheduled for when the signs will go up.

The district will also discuss with local authorities whether they can add “by police order” to the signs.

Strauss wants schools in the district to renovate or add vestibules as an extra security measure. 

Amanda Cook, a Lakeville resident and mother of a student at George R. Austin Intermediate School, donated $5,000 to improve vestibules at the school. 

The School Committee unanimously approved the donation and thanked her for her contribution.