Should schools lock classroom doors?
The LA Times poses this question as schools across the country seek ways to protect children from intruders who might seek to harm them.
It's not a far-off issue for another place. In the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting massacre in Connectict, schools all over our region went into lockdown mode in addition to the more highly visible placement of armed officers on campus. Children had to knock and have the door opened for them to get back inside after they went to the nurse's office or the library.
The scenario meant interruptions to class as people came and went for various reasons. But as the LA Times notes, there are other reasons to be concerned:
"Behind a locked classroom door, a Los Angeles third-grade teacher purportedly committed lewd acts against students. The charges spurred demands for classrooms to remain open during the school day.
"But after the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders in Connecticut last month, calls were made to keep classrooms locked.
"The intent of both efforts is to keep students safe. But as school districts nationwide examine their security measures following the Newtown, Conn., massacre, the question of locked versus unlocked classroom doors is in debate. Should teachers and administrators use their secured doors as a shield from an outside danger? Or does a locked door conceal a potential danger inside?"