One of the difficulties faced by those of us advocating for code-compliant school security is the public perception that many states are allowing classroom barricade devices.  This is not true, so I’m continuing to compile state requirements on the School Security Page of iDigHardware; that way it will be there for you to refer to when you need it.

I recently found a document from the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools and the Illinois Board of Education, in cooperation with the Illinois State Fire Marshal.  This publication covers existing public school buildings in Illinois – with the exception of Chicago Public Schools, and addresses over 300 different school-related issues.

Item Number 93 states that classroom doors must be unlocked on the inside – easily and readily openable by pupils from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.  Bolt locks are not permitted, and unlatching of the door should not require more than one motion.  Any additional locking devices that impede opening of doors are not permitted.

Appendix N (page 63) goes into great detail about door locking hardware, and includes this paragraph about classroom barricade devices:

“While these devices are perceived to provide additional security, they have the significant potential to facilitate unintended consequences when incidents of bullying, harassment, or physical violence take place. These devices prevent access by school staff and first responders and they delay egress in the case of emergencies such as a fire, which is statistically much more likely to happen. There are existing solutions that are code compliant and therefore allow first responders access to a classroom in case of an emergency. Classroom doors must be able to be closed for safety and security, as well as opened when needed. Some of these devices will lock the intruder or more frequently a bully in the room with their victims.”

The complete Illinois document is available here.

If you find any state or local publications on this topic, please send them to me.


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