The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 16, 2013

Fargo police join probe into school security story

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Police in Fargo have joined an investigation into whether a TV journalist broke the law while reporting a hidden-camera story aimed at revealing holes in security at elementary schools.

Fargo School District Superintendent Jeff Schatz also is questioning the accuracy of the report.

Valley News Live reporter Mellaney Moore last week walked around schools in Fargo and West Fargo in North Dakota and in neighboring Moorhead, Minn., without permission. In all three cities, entering schools without registering with administrators can result in a misdemeanor charge.

Police in West Fargo and Moorhead earlier announced that they were investigating, and Fargo police have now also opened an investigation, according to The Forum newspaper and KFGO radio. School officials brought security video from the school to police, Lt. Joel Vettel told The Forum.

Valley News Live News director Ike Walker says the station stands by the story.

Schatz said the TV station left out of its story that Moore was confronted by a teacher and asked to check in at the school office.

"(Moore) made it sound as if nobody had approached her and that just flat out is not true," he told The Forum.

Walker said the report made it clear that the reporter was stopped in at least one school.

"We said all along that she was stopped by a teacher," he said.

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