A Missouri mom was reportedly arrested after forgetting to sign in at her son's school.
Niakea Williams said she was rushing to console her young son, who has Asperger's syndrome, after receiving a "frantic" phone call from a teacher who said the boy was "panicking," St. Louis outlet KMOV reports.
Williams told the outlet that a receptionist buzzed her into the building at Walnut Groves Elementary School after recognizing her as a parent. When she failed to sign in at the front desk, the school was put on lockdown, and the police were called. She was eventually taken to the police station on trespassing charges, KMOV reports.
Jana Shortt, communications director for the Ferguson-Florissant School District, said she understands that Williams would be upset about the incident but said the school has a strict safety policy for the sake of the children.
“In this instance the parent came in, refused to sign in and ran through the hallways to her child’s classroom,” Shortt told The Huffington Post. “She was concerned about her child, but she bypassed the schools procedure for checking in.”
She said the safety policy can never be violated -- even by a concerned parent.
“Having any unauthorized person in the school or a person who is disrupting that process, that immediately triggers a lockdown … Someone who isn’t following that presents a safety risk so we follow our rules and procedures.”
The incident reflects the increased seriousness with which school districts have treated safety procedures since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
Shortt said the district's procedures have been in place since before the shooting but noted the tragedy “made everyone more aware of the need for [the sign in procedure]."