Last week I posted the code change that has been proposed by the Ohio Board of Building Standards, which would allow the use of barricade devices in Ohio schools. The proposed language includes very few restrictions on the use of the devices, and does not address the issues of unauthorized use of the device, or authorized access by staff or emergency responders. Call me naïve, but this is not what I expected after reading the report published by the Ohio BBS in July stating all of the reasons why the existing codes designed to ensure the safety of students and teachers should NOT be changed.
I’m working on some more information to post here, but for now I wanted to share this article from Al Jazeera America. It is the very FIRST mainstream media article I’ve seen that addresses some of the problems associated with the use of classroom barricade devices.
Here’s a short excerpt (the complete article is here):
The Ohio Board of Building Standards (OBBS) also raised objections, and it issued a 20-page report outlining the reasons. The report warned that the devices could hamper escape during emergencies. “Fine motor skills are severely compromised in a time of emergency. Using devices that require specialized skill or knowledge will interfere with occupant egress or possibly even prevent it altogether,” it read.
The objections, however, were quickly quashed by legislative action. The Pataskala parents’ group asked GOP state Sen. Jay Hottinger to intercede. He and state Rep. Kristina Roegner, a fellow Republican, sponsored amendments to the state budget bill, passed in July, ordering the OBBS to rewrite the code to allow door barricade devices and develop criteria for code-compliant barricades.
Roegner did not return requests for comment. While unavailable for an interview, Hottinger gave this statement to Al Jazeera: “The new school year renews our effort to protect Ohio’s students. This barricade system is reliable, safe and effective. It’s up to the schools to decide whether to use them, and we believe it complies with building code standards during an emergency.”
“No politician wants to be seen as against school security, so of course these bills will pass,” Trump said.