Lafayette School District ramps up security plans

(KGO)
January 23, 2013 5:35:53 PM PST
One East Bay school district is making a wholesale change in the type of locks currently used to keep its classrooms secure. The move comes more than one month after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Even before Sandy Hook, Lafayette Unified School District was in the process of installing security cameras on its five campuses. Now, they'll take those efforts one step further. By the end of next month, classroom doors will be sporting new handles that lock from the inside with a simple push of a button.

"We want to do what we can to keep our kids safe and to signal to the community and to our teachers and to the support staff that we need to do our part," Lafayette Schools Superintendent Fred Brill said.

The move comes in the wake of last month's deadly rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School where a young man in body armor shot his way into the school and then went from classroom to classroom killing 26 first-graders, teachers, and administrators.

In Lafayette, the new handles will replace the current type, on some 200 doors, that now lock only from the outside using a key. The cost of the change is about $60,000. Parents that spoke with ABC7 News seemed to think it was a common sense approach to beefing up security on campuses that are typically wide open.

"I guess it makes sense. If it's for the kids' safety, it seems like dollars well spent," said parent Claire Gallacher.

Lafayette isn't the only school district in the East Bay moving to increase security. The Orinda School District is also looking at the new locks that can be locked from the inside. Martinez already has ones that lock from the inside, but they've adopted a new policy that they remain locked during the school day.


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