Locking out the problems

Grace Fearheiley, web staffer

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At the start of this school year, KHS administration started enforcing a policy that requires teachers to keep their classroom doors locked at all times. According to Dr. Michael Havener, KHS principal, this policy was set in place to increase security in our classrooms in response to many school shootings that have occurred across America. School shootings have caused many schools around the country to take action to increase safety in classrooms.

“In years past, teachers had the option of whether to prop the door open and whether to keep the door locked. Quite honestly some of the early [policy] was not to lock the doors,” Havener said. “Unfortunately, after some incidents across America, safety procedures have been revised and changed. This year we were told by the [KHS] Director of Safety and Security that all classroom doors should be locked during class.”

According to Lucas Ravenscraft, social studies teacher, the policy is flawed because it creates many distractions in the classrooms that were not previously an issue. Because the doors are supposed to be locked at all times, whenever someone needs to enter the classroom, the flow of the lesson is stopped because the teachers have to stop and answer the door.

“It takes time away from what I believe we are here for, which is to educate students,” Ravenscraft said. “I don’t like [the policy] because it creates a lot more interruptions whereas before when students could just walk in or out, it didn’t really stop [the flow of the lesson]. Lost instructional time would be my complaint about it.”

Ava Duggin, freshman, said that she agrees with the locked door policy because the doors being locked adds protection to classrooms if a tragedy were to ever occur at KHS. Classroom doors being locked adds an extra layer of protection that slows down a possible intruder.

“I think it’s a good idea because since there have been so many school shootings, if there ever was one at Kirkwood, it would slow them down and even though it could save only a little bit of time,” Duggin said. “I think it could still make a difference.”

It takes time away from what I believe we are here for, which is to educate students.”

— Lucas Ravenscraft

Ravenscraft said that the policy doesn’t necessarily made him feel safer because unless an intruder was showing a weapon, a student or himself would let them inside the classroom. Having the doors locked doesn’t necessarily protect the classrooms from an intruder entering the classroom.

“School shooters are pretty much always students at the school and if I saw a student outside the door, unless they were brandishing a weapon at me, I would let them in the door, and so would all of my students,” Ravenscraft said. “I just don’t think it actually prevents much. There are other ways that would interrupt instructional time less, that we could still be safe.”