Classroom Locks Suggested As Simple Campus Security Fix


After Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed four of his classmates and his teacher and then left, Derek O’Dell had to wedge one of his sneakers under the classroom door to keep the attacker from returning to kill even more, reports the Associated Press. There was no lock on the door to protect the class. Safety experts say that as officials re-evaluate campus safety, many are overlooking a simple solution: putting locks on the inside of classroom doors. “Often it’s the simple stuff that will prevent a tragedy like this, and often it’s the simpler things that will make the bigger difference,” said Michael Dorn, a campus safety consultant. “It’s not the complex systems that cost millions of dollars.”

Colorado, the site of several school shootings including the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, has led the push to put locks on the inside of classrooms doors, said Vincent Wincelowicz of the Foundation for the Prevention of School Violence at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. Most classrooms, including those at Virginia Tech, lock only by key and from the outside. “A lock on a classroom door may cost $50 to $150, maybe $200 with installation, and it would certainly add a layer of protection that a security camera that’s being remotely monitored may not afford,” said Robert Siciliano of, author of “The Safety Minute: Living on High Alert.”


Comments are closed.