Photo: Chris Crook, Times Recorder

The following article announces yet another “classroom security device.”  Despite the inventors’ best intentions, I do not support methods of securing classrooms that a) inhibit free egress, b) prevent fire doors from latching, or c) can be used by unauthorized individuals.  I know many of you feel the same way, so what are we going to do about them?  There’s a new one in the news every week:

Ohio SWAT member designs device to protect against school attackers – Bucyrus Telegram

For an outward swinging door, a bar-like device is positioned against the door jam on both sides with the hook grabbing the door handle. Securing the device is as simple as turning the attached handle until it is snug, Lowe said, which helps in times of panic.

The device for inward swinging doors is placed on the floor and slid under the door crack, where it expands to fit the door jam and can be secured with a locking pin. The idea for this system came to Lowe after hearing about the Virginia Tech teacher who protected his class by sitting on the floor and jamming his feet up against the door. In tests of both systems, the door or its hinges broke before the device.

A few other school security articles in recent news…

Residents Angry at False Code Red at Marshall School – TAPintoSOMA

South Orange and Maplewood parents and teachers expressed anger and frustration over a false code red alarm at Marshall School in South Orange that failed to alert police to what appeared to be an armed intruder. Marshall serves grades kindergarten though second grade.

The alarm is supposed to lock all school doors and immediately notify the police. School officials were unaware that the alarm is not, in fact, connected to the police department.

“That functionality is not yet operational,” said outgoing Superintendant Brian Osborne before teachers and parents spoke. “Yet the school believed that it was. We really need to get to the bottom of why exactly that was.”


TDSB fears potential security breach, spending $700,000 to change locks in 100 schools – The Star

The Toronto District School Board is changing locks at some schools after accidentally releasing lock codes to the media.

Friday, the Star removed the “pin codes” from publicly released data it was hosting on its website as part of Project School Work, an innovative online project that allows readers who care about their schools to search maintenance and construction costs at individual facilities.

A TDSB official had alerted the Star that when it released the electronic registry to the Star, officials forgot to remove notations of pin codes for locks at about 100 schools. The TDSB said there were no security breaches but as a precaution they decided to go into the schools and change the codes.


The stakes mark out a new, more secure main entrance and office for the school on Osman Avenue North — part of a $3.4 million districtwide effort to improve school security and increase safety.

Starting this fall, visitors to Oak Park and the eight other elementary schools in the district will use a video-intercom system to be buzzed into the main office, where they will need to show picture IDs and be issued visitors’ badges.

“It’s all about security,” said Dennis Bloom, the district’s director of operations. “We need to know who is in our buildings from the time school starts until the time school ends — to know who is there and where they are going.”

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