Newton Schools to Beef Up Security

NEWTON, Iowa — The Newton School Board unanimously voted to beef up security after police say a man posing as a movie star came in to the city’s schools in June to entice teenage girls.

When accused child molester David Lavera walked into Newton schools posing as an actor from the Twilight movie series, he was welcomed with open arms. He was even invited to put on a show for kids. “This individual walked in with two parents who were very active in our schools. These people are recognized,” Superintendent Bob Callaghan told board members.

But police say Lavera was just trying to entice teenage girls to have sex with him. Monday night, board members approved a plan to require photo ID’s for everyone who enters the building and to have only certain doors unlocked at certain times. Secretaries working in the main office will be trained in new procedures, and everyone entering the school buildings will be required to wear a badge. Though, school leaders acknowledge, even a photo ID and a background check wouldn’t have kept Lavera out.

“There was nothing in this individual’s background that would have displayed a red flag,” Callaghan said, “Where I feel that our district could make an improvement is to request identification.”

Lavera was not asked for his ID when he entered the schools. He faces a slew of charges including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of a minor.

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