School installs special locks to protect students

MARION, IL – Can locks like help protect your student during a school shooting? That’s what school leaders in southern Illinois discussed during a workshop Tuesday. Similar locks are already in place at one local school.

Marion High School in Illinois stepped up security after school shootings in Benton, Kentucky, and Parkland, Florida. Marion High School now has a stricter backpack policy, and a police officer patrols the building every morning. Principal Joey Ohnesorge said he learned from tragedies in other schools.

“You learn certain things from each school shooting. You see what they go through, those schools, and the policy and procedures they implement based on those incidents,” said Ohnesorge.

His school is not stopping there. A faculty member attended a workshop with other school leaders about the importance of having proper locks on classrooms doors. Ohnesorge said that was important when the Marion High School building was constructed.

“One flip of the button here immediately locks the door here. If there is an intruder in the building, we can get the information out to our staff that there is an intruder here,” said Ohnesorge.

Door hardware consultants suggest schools not use barricades but use locks that lock from the inside, so students and staff can still get out, but intruders can’t get in.

Marion High School has other safety procedure plans in the works. It will get its first resource officer in August.

“We want to make sure that we send that message out to our parents that we are very vigilant in our procedures and that their students are safe coming into our buildings,” said Ohnesorge.

The changes aim to help your student focus on their future.

Door hardware consultants suggest schools not use barricades because they could prevent an evacuation and may not be compliant with model building codes. The School Building Lunch and Learn Seminar will continue Wednesday at the Baysinger Architects office in Marion, Illinois. 

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