A Massachusetts couple is helping change the school of thought when it comes to security by creating a special kind of lock for classroom doors.
Students were back in class at the Abbey Kelley Foster Charter School in Worcester with a new kind of lock made to keep school shooters out.
'Teacherlock' was born after the Parkland, Florida school shooting when the principal of the Abbey Kelley Foster school came in to do some work one weekend and realized she forgot her keys. Fortunately, her husband was with her.
"I had a screwdriver and just popped the lock and I was in in two seconds," Salvatore Emma said.
The ease with which Salvatore was able to trip the lock to his wife's office troubled them both.
"We talked at that point about our safety protocols and what our teachers do in lockdown drills," said principal Amy Emma.
What they did in safety drills is what many teachers do -- step outside the classroom and lock the door.
"It's a very sad, sad reality, but it's something we have to deal with as teachers," said teacher Megan LaPierre.
That reality got the Emmas thinking about a better way, a better lock, and months of research and refinement later, the Emmas rolled out Teacherlock.
"The teacher walks up to the door and pushes in the bolt closed and it's locked. Now the door's secure," Salvatore said.
The only way to get in from the outside is by use of a special key, only accessible by emergency personnel.
"All they have to do is insert the key and it unlocks the door," Salvatore said.
NEW AT 6 AND ONLY ON @boston25: Could this be the key to keeping school shooters out of classrooms? A Massachusetts couple thinks so. What makes this lock so different is something very simple. pic.twitter.com/XmMOfwfiM2— Jim Morelli (@MorelliJim) August 23, 2018
As for busting through that window?
"It breaks like a windshield," Salvatore said.
Teacherlock is manufactured in Fitchburg and is selling to school systems nationwide.
Amy Emma's school may buy more Teacherlocks next year after getting a donation this year.
"School budgets are always tight, but we take school safety seriously so this comes to the top of that list if you will," said Brian Haas, Abbey Kelley Foster school executive director.
Teacherlock is a family business, the Emmas say, and they are in business to turn a profit on an item they hope to sell, and hope buyers never have to use.
The Emmas say two of the big selling points of Teacherlock are cost and ease of installation. Each unit costs about $220 and they can be installed using a drill and a screwdriver.
About the Author