SB 316 would require school doors to lock from the inside
February 20, 2013 (Sacramento)--State Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego, 39th district) introduced legislation Tuesday requiring all classrooms with five or more persons to install devices that allow doors to lock from the inside by January 1, 2015. The California Federation of Teachers is sponsoring the legislation.
Following the school shooting tragedies in Newtown, Conn. and Taft, Calif., schools are rethinking safety procedures, including additional protections against campus intruders. A 2010 analysis of similar legislation estimated that 70 percent of schools already have such locks. Without the locks, teachers must go outside to secure their classrooms during emergencies. Block’s proposal would ensure that every school regardless of age complies with the inside lock requirement.
“This is a very doable safety step that protects our teachers and students from campus intruders,” Block said. “Teachers and other staff should not be forced to expose themselves unnecessarily to danger while trying to protect our students.”
Current law states that schools built after July 1, 2011 must have doors with inside locks. SB 316 also requires the new locks to allow students to freely exit at any time in case of an emergency, and any school modernization project submitted after January 1, 2014 must include the inside lock installation.
California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt said, "Giving a teacher or classified employee the ability to lock his or her classroom door from the inside is a simple, common sense safety measure.”Pechthalt added, “It will add a layer to school security between every child and potential harm."
Block said SB 316 would add a new defense tool to current school safety practices. “This bill would ensure that all teachers, whether on a new or old campus, have the same protection from dangerous intruders.”