Ballard

Seattle school staff finds drunk, homeless man in bathroom

Seattle school staff finds drunk, homeless man in bathroom »Play Video
SEATTLE -- A Seattle public school has made an immediate change in security protocol after an intoxicated transient was found in a boy's restroom.

The stranger was discovered inside Salmon Bay School Tuesday at about 9:30 a.m. Police say he was able to gain entrance through an unlocked side door.

"As a mom I don't want that happening in her school," said Heather Lukaart who has a kindergartner at the school.

Yet she also expressed compassion for the transient.

"My heart goes out to him as a homeless man and he doesn't have a place to relieve himself and stay warm," she said.

A Seattle School District spokesperson says the school kept the side door open as a handicapped entrance for students in wheelchairs. It would normally be locked sometime between 9 a.m. And 9:30 am, which is about a half-hour to hour after classes start.

The school will now lock the door at 8:30 a.m., when staff members are monitoring the arrival of children.

That is a satisfactory improvement in the mind of Laurette Simmons, whose grandchild attends the school.

"I think it's enough, especially the personnel in this school, especially the teachers, are extremely conscientious," Simmons said. "I think if they think it's enough, it's enough."

Police say the homeless man was cooperative when they arrived. No students or staff were threatened, and officers escorted the man off campus. He was not arrested.

Salmon Bay School has grades kindergarten through eighth and is located in the Ballard Neighborhood. There is a fenced playground, but sidewalks surround the school with close access to the building.