New policy requires locked classroom doors

Leaving class on a restroom pass just became a bit more difficult due to a new Brevard Public Schools rule that requires all classroom doors to remain locked throughout the day. The policy has been enforced as a reaction to the December shootings in Newtown, CT, that claimed the lives of 20 school kids and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“We know that it’s safer,” Assistant Principal Jim Melia said. “The longer someone can be delayed by locked doors, the faster somebody else can get here to prevent as many people from being injured. We know that if someone came on campus with the intent to do harm, it would be very difficult to get passed a locked door. Even if they did, like if they spent some time shooting at the door, the police department is right on the other side of these woods. The other thing is that there’s probably about a good half a dozen deputies over in the court house.”

Melia said the new rule will be helpful even beyond safety considerations.

“There have been times in the past where we had kids go into a room and take things that didn’t belong to them when the doors were open,” he said. “A teacher could be on planning over in the media center when a kid sees the teacher there and goes over and takes something out of the classroom. So it’s good to lock the doors all the time.”

But sophomore Kimmaya Chisolm doesn’t like the new policy.

“It’s really irritating when I come in and have to knock on the door,” she said. “It’s just annoying.”

On the other hand, sophomore Bonnie Rice said the rule has both positive and negative aspects.

“It doesn’t really affect me that much because I don’t leave the classroom ever,” she said. “But it is obnoxious when you get locked outside in between classes.”

Melia said the rule won’t go away any time soon.

“I think this policy will be going on for a while,” he said. “I mean, it seems to be working pretty good. You put policies in place, and human nature is to be complacent. People think that things are going pretty good, so we don’t need to do this or need to do that. And pretty soon, something happens. Then, we go ‘oh, we should have been doing that all along’.”

Melia said he does wish that such a policy didn’t have to be established.

“It’s a shame that we live in a world where we have to do this,” Melia said. “You can’t change the wind; you just got to adjust your sail.”

By Autumn Scheer