Security changes are in the works at Salmon Bay School in Ballard, after school officials say a drunk and possibly homeless man was found inside a boy's bathroom at the school.
In a letter that went home to parents on Tuesday, the assistant principal described the incident as follows:
At approximately 9:30 a.m., a transient man entered our building and attempted to take shelter in a boy's bathroom. We immediately called 911 and the district security officers, and teachers were notified to keep all students and guests in their classrooms. Upon the arrival of police and paramedics, the man - who was very intoxicated but non-confrontational - left the building.
Some parents are now asking questions about how the man was able to walk into the school, no questions asked.
A spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools told KING 5 that the man entered through a door on the east side of the building. It is designated as the handicapped entrance and is therefore kept unlocked longer than other doors, so that students in wheelchairs have access to come and go.
It's scary, it's so scary, said Johanna Silvers, who lives across the street from the school. There should be more locks on the doors or something. It's just like, this is a school zone, only children should be there or parents, people shouldn't be able to just walk in.
The district says it will be reviewing procedures to ensure the school can balance the need to maintain access for students with disabilities while also ensuring the security of the building.
When KING 5 asked visited the campus at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the door through which the man entered was still unlocked.
The assistant principal at SalmonBay told KING5 they plan to shorten the timeline during which the side doors remain unlocked, to better align with supervision duties during students' arrival and dismissal.
KING5 also spoke to one parent, who was volunteering inside the school when the security scare took place. He said the staff remained calm throughout the 28-minute ordeal, and was happy with how it was handled.
There was a knock at the door and they told the teacher what was going on, said Jason Fink. And every couple of minutes someone would come by and update us on what was going on, but at no time did I feel like we were in imminent danger or anything.
The letter sent out to parents ended with a reassurance to families, that the safety and security of students and staff is the school's highest priority.
Salmon Bay School is home to students in kindergarten through 8th grade.