Parents are demanding answers after a person was found sleeping in a Boston Public Schools classroom before the start of school on Tuesday.
The person, who school officials said was experiencing homelessness, was found by a staff member at The Richard J. Murphy K-8 school in Dorchester, according to a letter sent to the school community by Principal Courtney Sheppeck.
A teacher walked into her classroom Tuesday morning and found a homeless man walking out of a classroom closet.
The man ran out of the building, and school officials called police.
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"It's a horrible situation," said parent Siere Godfrey. "I think they need to figure out what's going on and have better security."
While Sheppeck said the person never interacted with any students and was not dangerous, parents like Godfrey, whose son is a sixth-grader at the school, are worried about what could have happened if someone who meant to do harm got in.
"That's the big problem, the man with the gun, you don't know if he's on drugs, or if there's a bomb, or if he's going to molest our children," said Godfrey. "This is a big safety issue."
According to the police report, an officer found a rear door of the school building ajar and there was no sign of forced entry, so it's possible the man walked right in.
"We're definitely seeing more people sleeping in the park next to the school down there at the Murphy," said Boston City Councilor Erin Murphy. "And we get calls a lot from concerned families that they see this happening around that neighborhood."
In her letter to families, Sheppeck wrote, "We are actively working with BPS Facilities and Operations staff to increase security of our school building."
The incident happened about an hour before students arrived.
"I've always been concerned because of the state we live in, the country we live in, but I always thought that they were safe going to that school," said a parent at the school who did not want to be identified. "I truly feel there is zero security at the school, if somebody was able to get in and remain in the school building after hours and overnight, there is no security there is no safety for our children."
According to the police report, nothing was missing from the classroom except some cereal.
Boston police are investigating. A spokesperson for the district said they are working to increase security at the building.
"Following an investigation into the matter, we will determine what additional safety measures can be taken at the school to ensure that this does not happen again," the district said in an email to NBC10 Boston.