Mellaney Moore suspended from covering schools over controversial hidden camera report

Categories: Education, Media
MellaneyMoore.jpg
TV screengrab via Forum Communications
Last month, Mellaney Moore, a reporter for the Fargo-Moorhead TV station Valley News Live, entered three area elementary schools with a hidden camera. The idea was to test each school's security -- could anybody just waltz in and stroll down hallways crowded with children?

THE BACKSTORY: Reporter Mellaney Moore investigated for entering elementary schools with hidden camera

The answer, as it turned out, was yes, at least in Moore's case. But Moore and her station landed in hot water because at least one of the schools had a sign on its door that said, "During regularly scheduled classes, all visitors must register at the main office. Failure to do so is a Class B misdemeanor and a violation of Fargo municipal code 10-0320."

Moore, of course, didn't register when she entered.

Authorities investigated the situation. Yesterday, the result of that effort was announced -- instead of pursuing trespassing charges, authorities in Fargo and Moorhead agreed to a deal with Moore and Valley News Live where Moore won't cover school stories for 90 days.

Reached for comment this morning, Moore told us, "I'm going to have to say that we came to an agreement -- it's not a punishment."

"Per that agreement I'm not able to say anything more at this time," she continued.

Asked what she'll cover while she's prohibited from covering schools, Moore said she won't be hurting for stories.

"I'm a multi-media journalist," she said.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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14 comments
Monique DuBois
Monique DuBois

Wow, a sign telling people to do something isn't security. What a joke. Deranged people always stop to sign in....right! Joanna Dake the bad guys are out there, and don't need a story like this for ideas...they already have them. These schools should have taken this as a lesson, not attack the person who pointed out their inadequacy!

Joanna Dake
Joanna Dake

School isn't the pentagon. Treating it like so, it's people like her that give "bad guys" more ideas to peruse innocent young victims for easier publicity. Thanks for putting our kids out for bear bait.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Even in this fear-crazed era, a public elementary school is a pretty darned safe place to be.  My 2 kids have been in public schools every day for the past 12 and 9 years respectively, and my wife has worked in one for about the past 8 years.  I'm talking about the much-maligned Minneapolis public schools, and not the nice ones on the Southwest side, either.  Bancroft, Sanford, and South, mostly.  How many intruder incidents have we experienced?  1.  At Bancroft one day, a confused woman came in and wandered around, claiming to be looking for a pay phone.  She was clearly a brick or two shy of a load.  There was the lunchroom incident at South last Valentine's Day, but according to my son who was there eating his lunch, that didn't get scary until the police starting firing beanbags and tear gas.

So, cases of strangers who aren't supposed to be at a school showing up and shooting people?  Adam Lanza.  All the other cases you hear of involve mentally ill kids not properly treated, who were supposed to be there, but showed up with guns; usually guns not properly or responsibly stored by their parents.

I'm sorry, Mainstream Media.  America today is safer than it has ever been, and less violent. Now, if we would actually treat mental illness instead of just medicating it with expensive pills that might cause more harm than they treat, and if we would culturally treat guns as carefully as we treat circular saws and cigarettes, to name two things less dangerous when improperly used than a firearm, we'd be even safer.

For the average American kid, America,and America's schools in particular, are the safest places to be, and safer than they have ever been.  But that reality doesn't sell ads, guns, pills or metal detectors, and it doesn't drive appropriations for cops, or armed guards, or new restrictions on basic American freedoms.  So that's a story the media won't touch.

Chris Gliedman
Chris Gliedman

Why punish someone who merely pointed out how lax your security really is? Sounds like she did you a favor.

_Joe_
_Joe_

Pretty sure she meant multi-topic.

Will Brown
Will Brown

"Yeah, that's the answer - punish the messenger so we can avoid the real conversation here. When faced with a crisis, our rule is always point fingers at others. Then maybe no one calls us out on a real lack of security." Sincerely, the Fargo-Moorhead School Board

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Signs work so well to discourage perpetrators. Especially the gun free signs ......

udumb
udumb

she broke the law dipshit

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@Onan  Sorry man, I slipped on the ice and whacked my head.

I meant to say, "Obama's Union Thugs hate the media they control!  Arm the Union Thugs in the schools, cut their pay and take away their benefits so they'll work harder!  Put cops and cameras everywhere, but quit spying on me, you commie fascists!  And if you don't have anything to hide, you don't have anything to worry about!  Raising the minimum wage makes everyone poor, and nobody should have health insurance except don't take away my health insurance and my boss should have to pay for my health insurance but we need to take all the pressure off the job-creators but people are too lazy to get off the couch and look for work!"

Is that better?

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

@udumb  She pointed out a pretty big flaw in school security, and their response was that she isn't allowed to talk about it. That's a little backwards imo.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

The authorities didn't follow their OWN procedures, dipshit. Not just at one school but four schools. If you don't seek to improve, you regress. I bet you call yourself "progressive" too.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@swmnguy  

Good lord, I'm pretty sure I've been on the receiving end of that argument more than once.  Verbatim.

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