Reporter's Notebook: Melissa deCordova

I didnít expect to, but I got in. After walking over the playground and almost completely around Perry Browne Intermediate School in Norwich shortly after 9 a.m. on Nov. 6, and ducking under at least one classroom window to avoid being detected - trying 13 doors along the way - one of the schoolís doorknobs actually turned.

I let myself in, heard voices, attempted to go right or left to avoid being detected, but was forced to proceed through the entrance straight ahead. Two staff workers looked at me and said, ďHello.Ē I smiled, briefly glanced in their direction, returned the greeting and kept on walking like I knew where I was going.

I couldnít believe that I succeeded. I was actually very surprised and somewhat nervous. During the three years that my son attended Perry Browne, I had never gotten past the main office without being questioned. When I knew my visit would be quick, I sometimes even tried to go through the kidís entrance to sneak around the office. Those office gals nabbed me every time.

So, I walked by an empty cafeteria and down a hallway. A young boy appeared from around a corner. My heart immediately lept as I considered the possibility of my having been an actual perpetrator. I turned away and headed toward the end of the corridor. Down the hall to my left, I saw a student and what I suspected was a teacher sitting on the floor outside of a classroom door, working. While I stood there, frozen, they got up and went into the room without noticing me. I turned and proceeded down another hall, passed an empty library and attempted to head toward a different hallway.

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