Ohio Schools, Standards Board at Odds over Door Barricade Devices

The Ohio building standards board submitted an objection to the state’s new law allowing door barricading devices to be used in schools.

The Ohio building standards board is being forced to adjust after Ohio lawmakers changed state law to allow for barricade devices in schools.

On July 24 the standards board submitted a sharply critical report on the new law, which allows for many door barricading devices to be used in schools, according to bucyrustelegraphforum.com.

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The law allowing the devices to be installed was passed in the wake of a 2012 school shooting in northern Ohio that killed three people. Support for the law came in the form of lobbying from school districts and device manufacturers looking to improve school security during lockdowns.

But in its report to lawmakers, the standards board said the devices could slow down first responders unfamiliar with how they work, especially since the devices aren’t visible from the hallway. The report also pointed out that the devices, which require special skills to activate and unlock, violate federal disability laws.

So far the barricading devices pitched in Ohio slide under doors, attach to handles or require holes to be drilled in the floor to install safety pins. Some security experts have questioned the device’s effectiveness in the event of an active shooter. The report concluded that they could actually be putting students at a higher risk of injury.

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Despite some people’s concerns, last year parents at one Ohio school district raised $30,000 to install a company’s barricading devices before a state fire marshal ended the fundraising because it violated fire codes. Now, with the law allowing such devices just weeks old, the district is planning to install them in all K-12 schools.

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