A Brief History
Twenty years ago, on April 20, 1999, 12 students and one teacher were killed during a school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. It was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Since then, there have been more than 200 other school shootings that have taken place all across the country. From the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, school shootings have become all too common over the last two decades.
As a result, it is not uncommon to see a classroom door lockdown device installed on classroom doors these days. These devices help keep students and teachers safe during active shooter incidents. If your school does not have classroom door lockdown devices installed on your classroom doors yet, it is time to do something about that. Here are eight benefits of installing one of these devices.
Active shooting drills are an unfortunate part of education these days. Here are the benefits of using a classroom door lockdown device in your school.
1. Allows Teachers and Students to Lock Doors During Active Shooter Events
There are many elementary, middle, and high schools that have classroom doors that do not have locks on them, which makes it impossible for teachers and students to lock their classroom doors during active shooter events. For a long time, the best advice experts could give these teachers and students was to turn the lights off in their classrooms during school shootings and hide so that it would look like classrooms were empty when a shooter walked by. The thought was that a shooter would be less likely to bother entering what appeared to be an empty classroom.
Taking this approach to keeping a classroom full of students safe might work, but teachers and students are much better off having a classroom door lockdown device in place to keep them safe. This device gives teachers and students the opportunity to lock their classroom doors securely during an active shooter event. By locking the door, they can stop a shooter from entering a classroom and opening fire.
2. Lets Teachers and Students Leave Classrooms Easily After Active Shooter Events
One of the things that some teachers and students started doing during school shootings back in the 2000s was placing heavy furniture and other items in front of classroom doors to “lock” them. It was the only way they could stop someone from outside the classroom from getting in, but this made it difficult for teachers and students to get out of the classroom later once an active shooter event was over. They had to do a lot of work to unblock their classroom door. A classroom door lockdown device makes it easy for teachers and students to lock and then unlock their classrooms during an active shooter event. Most devices are simple to install and remove within seconds.
3. Makes Teachers and Students Feel Safer in Classrooms
Many of today’s students go to school every day and do not feel safe while they are there. One recent study revealed that almost 50% of students report feeling unsafe during the school day. Teachers do their absolute best to alleviate the fears that students have, but many of them also do not feel 100% safe when they are teaching throughout a normal school day. They have concerns about the safety of their schools.
While a classroom door lockdown device is not going to erase all of the fears that teachers and students have, it will give them some sense of comfort and make them feel safer than they would otherwise. They will know that they have something that can protect them in the event of an active shooter incident. It will give teachers the opportunity to spend more time teaching and less time worrying about safety. It will also provide students with a chance to focus on their studies rather than stressing out over the safety of their school building.
4. Provides the Parents of Students With Peace of Mind
Teachers and students aren’t the only ones who worry about school safety. The parents of school-aged kids also worry about what steps their kids’ schools are taking to protect their children. As this article from Fighting Chance Solutions points out, about 60% of parents are worried that their children could be involved in a school shooting one day. Some parents even choose their child’s school based on the safety measures that it has put into place. Thanks to the rash of school shootings in the U.S. over the years, many parents are always going to worry about the safety of schools to some degree, but when schools take the time to install classroom door lockdown devices, it makes it a little easier for parents to sleep at night.
5. Shows a School’s Commitment to Student Safety
Schools these days are doing all kinds of things in an effort to make their school buildings safer. They have put advanced security measures into place to reduce the chances of active shooter events. Many schools have beefed up the security of their buildings by:
- Locking all exterior doors during the school day and telling students not to open them for anyone
- Keeping a close eye on school visitors and making them sign in and out before getting access to school buildings
- Installing security cameras throughout school buildings to monitor the premises
- Asking teachers and students to carry ID badges so that they can be identified
- Conducting random searches of lockers and bookbags
Installing a classroom door lockdown device on every door in a school building is one more way that schools can show their commitment to safety. These devices will send the right message to teachers, students, and parents.
6. Helps Schools Provide Teachers and Students With Better Active Shooter Training
Active shooter events have become so common in recent years that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security put together training documents to teach people how to respond during one. Many schools have also gone above and beyond to try and train both teachers and students on what they should be prepared to do during an active shooter event. Schools routinely hold active shooter drills so that teachers and students are familiar with the steps that should be taken in an emergency situation. When classroom door lockdown devices are installed on classroom doors, it makes active shooter training even easier for teachers and students. They know exactly how to lock their classroom doors tight during active shooter events.
7. Deters Students From Wanting to Take Part in a School Shooting
Many of the school shootings that take place in American schools are carried out by students who attend those schools. Often times, the students tend to be isolated from their fellow students for one reason or another and choose to carry out an attack against them. These students might be less likely to plan out attacks when they know that their schools have put safety precautions into place to prevent shootings. Things like classroom door lockdown devices could be enough to deter them from trying to plan attacks in the first place. That is not to say that installing classroom door lockdown devices is the only thing schools should do to deter students from wanting to take part in a school shooting, but it is a good start and could make students think twice about carrying out an act of violence in a school building.
8. Costs a Lot Less to Install Than It Used To
When classroom door lockdown devices were first introduced, they cost a lot of money to install. Many concerned parents had to hold fundraisers to foot the bill for these devices on their own since schools couldn’t always afford them, but today, there are quite a few companies out there manufacturing these devices. That has helped bring the price of them down and made it more affordable for schools to install them.
Installing brand-new doors in classrooms can be expensive, but installing a classroom door lockdown device on each classroom door in a school building can be affordable, especially when schools buy up the devices in bulk. There is no reason for schools not to at least consider installing classroom door lockdown devices from now on. They could save lives and make teachers and students feel safer than ever before when they are installed.
Install a Classroom Door Lockdown Device on Every Door in Your School Today
School officials throughout the U.S. are doing everything they can to limit school shootings, but it still seems like another school shooting is taking place every few weeks nowadays. 2018 was actually the worst year yet when it comes to school shootings. And it appears as though 2019 could be every bit as bad when things are all said and done.
If your school does not have a classroom door lockdown device installed on every door, think about changing that. You will be glad you did if your school is ever the scene of an active shooter event at some point in the future. Read our blog to learn more about how school shootings have affected the country over time.
Question for students (and subscribers): Do you think your school should invest in classroom door lockdown devices? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Fast, Jonathan. Ceremonial Violence: Understanding Columbine and Other School Rampage Shootings. Harry N. Abrams, 2008.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Qqqqqq (talk) at English Wikipedia of Hope Columbine Memorial Library at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.