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State

Rockford schools to install classroom door locks

ROCKFORD (AP) — The Rockford School District is changing the way classrooms are secured so that teachers can lock doors from the inside starting this fall.

Right now, most of the district's classroom doors can't be locked from the inside. That means that teachers can't "lock down" to protect themselves and their students by keeping them locked in their classrooms. Currently, teachers in most classrooms just close the door and cover the windows.

Parents and teachers have been raising concerns about the locks for about two years, district Chief Operating Officer Todd Schmidt told the Rockford Register Star (http://bit.ly/10CXHG1). In response, the district plans to seek bids to install locks on classroom doors.

The district has budgeted about $1 million for the project, which Schmidt said it can be a complicated process.

"It's not just one door. It's 1,700 doors," he said. "The doors in each school are different. We want to bid it out, which means needing to get every detail right, or we might not end up with the work we wanted."

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