I’ve been writing quite often about the state laws and local code changes that could affect the use of barricade devices on classroom doors and other doors in schools. These potential changes would create inconsistencies in the requirements for each state, and could put students and teachers at risk. I have pulled together many resources on the Schools tab of this site, and today I have added a new one – an article from the president of ALOA-Institutional Locksmiths, John Truempy. This article was published in the May 2015 issue of Keynotes.
I can understand politicians would have a hard time voting against anything that’s supposed to help protect children in an active shooter situation. On the other hand, I’m not happy with the rationale that suggests that because school fires are on the decline but active shooters are on the rise, this type of locking system can be used. Yes, school fires — and deaths from fires in schools — may well be decreasing but that’s only because of decades of excellent fire code implementation and associated code enforcement.
The school resource officer and co-inventor of the product in question said, “The chance of having an active shooter and a fire at the same time is something I’ve never heard of.” My response to this ill-informed gentleman would be this: Have you ever heard of Columbine High School? That tragedy involved a firebomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices and bombs rigged in cars. The most killed in a school massacre was 44, with another 58 injured during the Bath School Disaster in Michigan in 1927. The killer in this incident was not an active shooter; he used bombs to cause his carnage.
Thank you to John Truempy for allowing me to share this article.