AP Literature teacher, Kimberly Rygiel conducts class, while senior Maddie Woods tries to re-enter the locked classroom. Every door on campus must be locked, and students have mixed opinions.
AP Literature teacher, Kimberly Rygiel conducts class, while senior Maddie Woods tries to re-enter the locked classroom. Every door on campus must be locked, and students have mixed opinions.

Point/ Counterpoint: Locked doors

September 9, 2022

Locked doors are counterproductive

Locking the doors during class hours, the new policy that has been implemented in CUSD and other school districts around the US. What exactly does this do, how does this help the safety of the students, does it really do anything other than inconvenience everyone? Locking the doors is supposed to help protect students due to many recent incidents and attacks across the country. Whether this is truly effective or not, nobody quite knows yet. 

Locking the doors everytime a class starts is not only inconvenient but also does not do much besides disturb classes already in progress. When someone arrives late they must knock and knock until someone answers the door, which not only can disturb the class but also disrupts the flow of the teacher/lesson. Not to mention every time someone in the class has to use the restroom this also disturbs the class. 

This is one of the major problems with locking doors, going to the restroom in the middle of the class and having to come back and knock on the door multiple times until someone has to come and open it. This just causes the whole class to be disturbed, this feeling is amplified during tests or other important events that take place in the classroom. This also prevents students from using the restroom sparing themselves from the embarrassment of having to knock on the classroom door when they get back. This results in students spending more time during the passing period to use the restroom. 

There is also the issue of the person who has to get the door. This person is always getting up out of their seat to get the door whenever someone needs to let in, impeding their own learning and distracting others from learning.. 

Some may argue that locking the doors helps to protect students from any possible school intruder situation, and yes, it may help protect the students inside of the classroom, but what about the students trapped outside? This doesn’t leave them with much safety from whatever may be happening on school grounds.

Because school safety has been a major concern in recent years the reasoning behind why the doors must now be locked is understandable, schools are not left with much choice in the matter. However, at the end of the day this new policy is just plain disturbing, not only to the classroom in general but to the learning process as well. 

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Locked doors: active reminder of student safety

Amongst the changes that alter with every new school year, each door on campus is now expected to be locked throughout the duration of the school day. Every day, all day every teacher is now required to have their door locked. Students requesting entrance into the classroom must now knock, and be allowed in via the teacher or a student sitting adjacent to the  door. 

While this decision may have some downfalls, specifically pertaining to the ease of students, its overall prevalence on student safety and creating a productive learning environment outweigh the inconvenience. 

With the now locking of doors, students must really consider whether their bathroom trips and walks around the campus are necessary. The need to knock on the door, as well as increased presence of bathroom passes and sign outs, work to limit unnecessary expeditions out of the classroom. 

Those who may have been inclined to leave class for a long period of time are now discouraged to do so, with the more stringent policies. This allows for more learning to prosper within the classroom, and lessen the amount of work students need to make up and relearn after traveling through the hallway. 

Having such a proficient teaching staff, in prior years, many students will visit their old teachers, often interrupting the class to do so. While with good intent, these visits to say hello often progress to be longer visits, inhibiting the teaching. Now, many teachers may be more inclined to not allow older students into the class during the class hour. 

By locking the doors, an overall emphasis on a productive, learning environment is put forth. Students can focus on what is in front of them, opposed to dealing with distractions to the classroom, and interruptions. Class periods are only so long, and interference can have negative effects on the students’ ability to learn. 

However, the most prudent and relevant benefit to the locked doors, is however, the emphasis and necessity of student and staff safety. Following the 21-22 school year, a plethora of acts of gun violence occurred across the country. 

In response to these acts of brutality, many of which occurred within schools, the locked doors have now become a part of every student, staff, and security guard’s routine. Security guards are often known to peruse the campus to ensure that the doors are locked, overall emphasizing the schools desire to ensure the safety of those it houses.

Seeing the violence of the assaults in the news and media can create extraneous stress and anxiety within a school setting, adding to the pre-existing stress school can bring. Therefore, the locked doors can help bring peace of mind to students, letting them have a tangible measure of safety. 

At school, students should be able to focus on their academics, peers, and living out their teenage years. While it may be inconvenient to have to knock to re-enter a classroom, the small act pales in comparison to the potentially life-saving measures of a campus wide lock. 

While the locked doors are undoubtedly something to get used to, they have a benefit and a purpose, one that extends beyond the feelings of inconvenience. 

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