Schools Should Not Have Self-Locking Doors

Warning: this story contains an opinion on school shooting precautions and their relation to trauma

It is imperative we discuss why we have self-locking doors: school shootings. This is a safety precaution solely meant to prevent us from being shot, and the impacts of these precautions are problematic. Every day, every time we walk past any door, we are reminded that we could die here. Today. Now. School lockdowns and drills have caused trauma which, according to child psychiatrist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical school, “are at risk for lasting symptoms.” Reminders of that trauma or just anxiety over school shootings is also terrible for students’ mental health. Another concern is if a student is outside the classroom when a shooting occurs, they will not be able to get to a safe space. These locks will not only keep out possible shooters, but also possible victims. One of my teachers last year recommended students not use the restroom or water fountains during class time in case of a shooting during that time. They were concerned  we would be locked out of the only safe spaces in the school, so told us a safe word in case we needed to be let in. Another teacher has also given my classmates and me a safe word if we need to get into their office. Clearly the adults charged with our safety in the building have concerns with identifying students in danger and a potential shooter. None of this makes me feel safe.

By Amira Pierotti

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