Bill calls for special locks for public classroom doors

Issue brought to light after Sandy Hook

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - One state lawmaker is pushing for a bill to help keep dangerous intruders from entering public school classrooms.

The legislation requires special locks on doors that can be locked with a key from inside the room.

The legislature would require all locks in public school classrooms be retrofitted by Jan. 2015.  Older schools would have to replace doors with locks that could be locked only with a key by the teacher. During the Newtown school shooting, many lives were saved by teachers locking the doors from inside classrooms.

"There will be a cost no question, the question is, is it worth it?" said Senator Marty Block.  "To me and to the teachers who came to me to first talk about this bill it's an investment they would like to make for a given teacher in his or her classroom. If it costs $30, that's about $2.50 per month for that classroom for a year.  Again it saves lives so it's really not a lot of money."

Block said it would cost $30 to $60 to retrofit doors with the new locks. 

A 2010 study found close to 20 percent of schools in California do not have such locks.  The California Federation of Teachers support replacing locks in older schools.

The bill also requires that the rooms still have a way for students to exit in case of an emergency.  Many schools with older door locks are in lower income school districts and communities.

Print this article Back to Top