UNSAFE: Nearly Half Of DC’s Classroom Doors Don’t Lock


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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Students who attend public schools in Washington, D.C., have about a 50-50 chance of not having a locked classroom door in the event of a school shooting, according to a Tuesday report.

District Deputy Chancellor Michael Gaal said that over 50 of D.C.’s 115 public schools do not feature classroom doors that lock, reported The Washington Post. Gaal made the remark at a budget hearing for the D.C. Council’s Education Committee.

“It has definitely become a big concern for some of the folks in our community,” D.C. State Board of Education representative Markus Batchelor told WaPo.

Some doors can only be locked and unlocked from outside of the classroom, Batchelor said and that one classroom had a sheet of plywood in place of a door.

The deputy chancellor estimated the cost for installing the locks at $15 million and noted that some schools still have not received them, despite having asked the Department of General Services numerous times.

D.C. public schools have not experienced any shootings in 2018; however, they have undergone 20 lockdowns since Jan. 1.

A joint examination conducted by the district and the Department of General Services “will be complete later this spring, and we will have a more informed sense of costs and a timeline for moving forward,” D.C. public schools spokesman Shayne Wells said.

“The majority of school violence is going to be a single victim incident that might have been protected by that locked door,” school security consulting analyst Chris Dorn, who works at Safe Havens International, told WaPo.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to principals from Anacostia and Ballou High Schools, as well as Langley and Payne Elementary Schools, to inquire whether their classrooms featured locked doors and how they viewed the viability of such a security measure, but received no comment in time for press. (RELATED: DC Graduation Rate Cut Nearly In HALF After Corruption Scandal)

D.C. public schools came under scrutiny during the 2017-2018 school year when teachers at Ballou High School did not mark students down for excessive absences and awarded half-credit, instead of zero percent, for uncompleted assignments.

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