A new safety feature, however initially perplexing, was added to Carmel High’s classrooms and classrooms throughout the district over February break.
Block Locks, best described as bright yellow pull cords, are an addition that will allow teachers to lock their doors easily in the event of an intruder alert on campus.
Assistant principal Martin Enriquez says that the Block Locks were ordered to “streamline emergency response,” allowing teachers to leave their doors locked, so in the case of an intruder, anyone, including a student, could readily close the door entirely, thereby increasing the safety of teachers and students alike.
“The idea is that we can attach them to doors without an actual doorknob, and they’ll have the same effect as those rubber door blocks,” Enriquez explains, referring to the Door Bløks teachers were provided last year. “We hope that it’ll make the campus safer in an emergency.”
History teacher Marc Stafford, who was present during the installation of his Block Lock, is interested in the idea as well.
“I mean, I’m in favor of anything that will keep students safer…I like that it lets me keep the door locked. It just seems like a good idea.”
The locks themselves are easy to operate, involving a magnetic attachment to the door jamb as a rubber stopper keeps the door itself opened just a crack. A cord tab is what the user pulls to close and lock the door entirely. Their simplicity is what attracted CHS administration in the first place: Anyone who feels threatened in a classroom will be able to secure themselves almost effortlessly.
But, as Enriquez jokes, “This doesn’t mean students are allowed to lock themselves in classrooms alone…unless it’s an emergency.”