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California Bill to Require Interior Locks on School Doors Advances to Senate

California Bill to Require Interior Locks on School Doors Advances to Senate

Mourners observe the makeshift memorial at The Covenant School in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn., on March 31, 2023, four days after six were killed at the school in a shooting. (Chase Smith/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte

5/31/2024

Updated: 6/3/2024

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A California bill that would require schools serving grades 1-12 to install interior locks on doors in the building or facility is currently being considered in the state Senate.
Assembly Bill 2565, introduced by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, would require new buildings or those undergoing construction to install interior locks on doors to all classrooms, libraries, gymnasiums, and auditoriums.
The bill, introduced in February, passed the Assembly’s Education and Appropriations committees and unanimously passed the state Assembly floor on May 23. It now awaits committee assignment in the Senate.
Currently, state law requires any school applying for funding for modernizations to also install interior locks—but it’s only applicable to renovations and repairs.
Mr. McCarty said he introduced the bill to ensure student and teacher safety amid the threat of gun violence.
“Schools should be safe havens for learning, not sites of violence. Simple safety measures like interior locks can save lives during a crisis, making our schools safer,” he said in a February press release.
He also noted that currently, one in four classroom doors can be locked only from the outside—which means that during a school emergency when classrooms need to be locked, an individual must put himself at risk to lock the door.
Mr. McCarty’s press release also cited the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission’s 2015 report on school safety, which strongly encouraged the installment of interior locks on classroom doors as a practical and effective safety measure.
“The testimony and other evidence presented to the commission revealed that there has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door,” the commission’s report stated.
Last year, California and Ohio tied for the highest number of school shootings in the nation, reporting 25 incidents, according to McCarty’s office.
The state would be required to reimburse local agencies and school districts for the costs of installing locks, but the total cost has not yet been estimated.
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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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