Olathe MS students (copy)

Students walk down the hallway of a wing of Olathe Middle School on Aug. 23, 2021. 

A security camera placed in a girls’ locker room at Olathe Middle/High School caused alarm among students and parents on Thursday, Sept. 23. The camera was recently installed and was removed the same afternoon.

The camera was not connected to power and did not record any tape, according to Jim Pavlich, the executive director of operations for the district.

“It’s a dummy camera: it is not hooked to anything, there’s no power to it and there has never been power to it,” Pavlich said. “There’s no server or ability for it to record.”

Olathe Middle/High School Principal Scot Brown said that he first found out about the camera late Wednesday night in an email and received many phone calls from parents on Thursday.

”From there, I worked with Jim Pavlich to find out what was going on with it and to make sure it was going to be removed,” Brown said.

Olathe Middle/High School is one of four schools in the district currently undergoing a security system upgrade that started in August and will continue through the rest of the semester.

The camera, which was supposed to cover the exterior door, was accidentally placed in the girls’ locker room because of an incorrect blueprint.

As modifications are made to buildings over the years, master blueprints are updated accordingly. But sometimes new changes are not accurately updated, which can cause errors down the line, such as this misplaced camera.

“In this particular location, there was an error on the blueprints. We still should have caught it on our walkthroughs, but we apparently missed one,” Pavlich said. “We’re rectifying the blueprint and we’re going to modify the design.”

An Olathe student noticed the camera and sent a photo to her mother, who shared the report among other parents. Another parent contacted the Olathe Police Department, which deployed an officer to investigate.

A dispatcher with the Olathe Police Department confirmed that an officer was dispatched but declined to provide further details.

Montrose County Undersheriff George Jackson also confirmed information similar to Pavlich’s.

Anna Lynn Winfrey is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

Anna Lynn Winfrey is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

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