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Local Mother Speaks Out About School's Safety

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LAWTON, Okla_Just weeks after a school shooting in California and the Sandy Hook Massacre, an Arlington, Texas, school went into lock down Tuesday over a gun scare.

Because of these events, parents and school administrators nationwide are focusing on school safety more than ever. So you can imagine one mother's surprise when she was able to walk in the front door of Lawton High School where her son attends, roam the halls for hours, and have no one ask for so much as her name.

Lawton Public Schools was contacted about the matter, but they did not wish to make a comment. A spokesman said he would be willing to talk with the mother, Tanya Vanderhook, but no word has been given as to why she was able to walk in the school and make herself at home for over 4 hours.

"I felt like I was back in high school again, " said Tanya Vanderhook, of how she was able to walk through the door of her son's high school without being questioned.

At 9:30 on Tuesday morning, Vanderhook and two friends showed up to Lawton High School to speak with teachers about her son's grades.

"What's the point in having a school that doesn't have security, " Vanderhook questioned.

She said as she walked through the front doors and past the front office, no one stopped her, no one said hello, no one even batted an eye.

"I could've pulled everything off if I'd had a gun. I mean I had a large Coach purse. My two friends had on baggy jackets. No one would have ever suspected anything, " Vanderhook said.

Vanderhook is not a familiar face at LHS, yet she and her friends were able to knock on multiple teachers' doors and speak with them. She saw a security guard only once, after lunch time. And she's puzzled because she knows she could never get away with this at other schools in town. 

"I have three kids who go to an elementary school, Flowermound, " said Vanderhook,  "and they are very well secured. Every door on that school is locked, and as soon as you walk in you have to get a visitor's pass."

Vanderhook worries, if she was able to waltz right in, who else could do the same? She said she can't rest easy knowing the school she sends her child to doesn't take security seriously.

"I could've just been somebody to go in there just like anybody else and kill students, and would they have ever known? Nope. Not until it was too late, " Vanderhook said.

Tanya Vanderhook was even able to take her son, a sophomore, off campus for lunch just by asking a teacher. He signed himself in and out and then returned without anyone questioning him.

Vanderhook also said she won't stop here. She intends to speak with administrators until she gets an explanation for why security was so lax on Tuesday.

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