Stories with impact: 8 Sun Journal stories that mattered

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HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOUR SCHOOL TO RESPOND? — Nov. 5, 2006

At Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris, a Sun Journal reporter spent 10 minutes outside, tugging on every side and back door to see if they were locked. After going in through the main entrance, she walked the halls for 40 minutes, passing some classrooms three times.

Published in the Sun Journal on Nov. 5, 2006.

Just weeks after a spate of school shootings rocked the nation, no one — not even a police officer who fell in step behind her — challenged the reporter’s presence.

In a 2006 Sun Journal investigation, 14 reporters fanned out to check the security at 37 schools across Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties. A quarter of the schools did well — with locked doors, monitored entries and vigilant staff — but others showed gaping holes in security. Many failed to follow their own fundamental safety rules.

The investigation drew the ire of…

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