Parents concerned about Castle's 'hidden stairway' - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Parents concerned about Castle's 'hidden stairway'

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There's a spot in the middle of Castle High School, where kids say they can easily hide away from teachers and other school authorities. A place where they're not worried about being caught, where they may be getting away with things they wouldn't ever try at home. 

The hidden stairway.  

Right now, the area can't be seen by surveillance cameras, but school officials say there's money in the budget to change that next school year.

One student tells 14 News the areas beneath stairwells are well known spots for students to fight, harm themselves and engage in unsavory behavior, but the school says that's not true.

Leeghan Duerkes is keeping her child home from school because she doesn't think it's safe. 

"It's been reported to me that fights have broken out and also its been stated that a lot of sexual activity happens," Duerkes says.

All in an area under the stairs. She says teachers don't monitor the area as frequently as they should. The secluded areas aren't being monitored by cameras either.

"There are 60 cameras in that school, 60. To tell me they can't put another three or four cameras somewhere where they know stuff's going on," Duerkes says.

Warrick County Superintendent Brad Schneider says the 2013 budget includes funds for those additional cameras. In the meantime, he says," More trips to these stairwell areas or any area actually away from the flow of traffic."

Schneider also says there's always going to be areas that are left without adult supervision.

"Of course there's going to be things that happen, that's the nature of dealing with 1,920 teenagers. Keeping them all supervised at one time is tough," says Castle Principal Andy Byers.

But Duerkes says her child won't return to school until she feels security has been boosted in these areas.

"It's their job to protect our children," Duerkes says.

Byers denies accusations that students are not safe at Castle. He says that student safety is a top priority.

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