Newtown Sandy Hook classroom_1388183364487_1715345_ver1.0_640_480

One of the most infuriating aspects of the Sand Hook Elementary School massacre: the information blackout in its immediate aftermath. The cynical amongst you might say that the results of the investigation into the tragedy were delayed long enough for Governor Malloy and his boyz to ram through gun control laws – despite the fact that none of the new laws – not one of them – would have prevented Adam Lanza’s heinous crime. Key details of the police response (e.g. their delayed entry into the school) were withheld from the public. The crime scene was literally bulldozed before experts could use it to learn lessons for future attacks. And now, almost two years later, we note that the school’s active shooter plan was fatally flawed. Literally . . .

ktar.com ran an article on a recent school safety seminar in Phoenix. In it, Tom Foley, a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, highlighted a startling fact about the Newtown spree killing . . .

Foley said in that incident, the school was not equipped with locks on the inside of classroom doors. The protocol was that the janitor would go around and lock the doors from the outside during a lockdown situation.

“In an event that lasts two minutes, you don’t have time to have somebody else going through the halls (locking doors),” said Foley. “What happens when that person gets shot?”

Checking the Sandy Hook Final Report (page 18), here’s the relevant bit:

The doors in the hallway all locked from the outside with a key. The interior door handles had no locking mechanism. All of the doors opened outwardly toward the hallway. All doors were solid wood with a circular window in the upper half of the door.

So who exactly devised and authorized this janitor-dependent policy? How many other schools in Connecticut and elsewhere have classroom doors that can’t be locked from the inside? That may depend on when they were built.

“The [Sandy Hook] school was built in the 50’s,” Professor Foley told TTAG. “Probably so that children couldn’t lock themselves into the classroom . . . There’s a need to retrofit a lot of these old schools.”

How’s that going? Anyway, it’s only one of the lessons that MUST be learned from Newtown. Others include the fact that “sheltering in place” is a recipe for slaughter. Perhaps classrooms should have windows allowing students to escape. What else? It’s hard to know; many of the official records were redacted in the final report.

After Newtown, the NRA created a National School Shield Task Force. Their non-partisan experts researched and released a comprehensive report on school safety before and during active shooter events. [Click here to read.] Unfortunately, many if not most of its key recommendations were ignored.

Yes, the Phoenix conference and others like it indicate educators’ and administrators’ new willingness to prepare for an armed attack on a school. Even so, depending on where it occurs, another Newtown could be just as deadly as before – if not worse. Especially if multiple terrorists attack.

America still isn’t ready to confront the plain truth that we must defend our children by force of arms. The sooner we repeal Bush the Elder’s Gun-Free School Zone Safety Act, the better. It’s not the answer, but it would be an important step in the right direction.

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78 Responses to Sandy Hook Janitor Was Supposed to Lock Doors From the Outside for Active Shooter

  1. The mentality that school staff should lock doors from the outside…and folks wonder why I continue to make the connection school institutions = prison institutions?

    Children are not cattle to be locked in stalls awaiting slaughter.

    • You are misunderstanding how the locks work. The doors lock from the outside but do not prevent people from leaving the room, only prevent people from entering.

      • We had doors like that when I was in school. After Columbine, it was district policy for the teachers to keep them locked (can only be opened from the inside) while class was in session.

      • The locks being manipulated by the janitor from the outside seems familiar as my elementary school was built in the 1950s as was Sandy Hook.

    • Aye. Our newer school buildings around here even resemble minimum security lock up institutions. People used to roll their eyes at me when I pointed out that it seemed like children were being conditioned to accept infringements when they became adults. I’m convinced that, by intention or coincidence, is the ultimate outcome.

      Most of the American people are cowards. They are afraid of a free state so they hide behind ineffective and dangerous laws instead of being responsible for their own safety and security. They raise their children, and allow the state to raise them, to perpetuate that abdication of individual rights and duties. A question that routinely presents in my own thoughts lately, “Do most Americans today even deserve Liberty?”

      • “Most of the American people are cowards.”

        On this, you and I agree 100%, John. I’m not a terribly brave person, but it doesn’t seem to take very much courage to want to deploy the best means of protection to protect schoolchildren. So either people don’t really think this is a problem, or they really just can’t muster up the courage to do what’s needed to really defend them.

        That, and, it’s time to homeschool, already.

        • You have a lot in common with Eric Holder. He said the same thing.

          I don’t believe that either of you are correct. I do believe that thieves, liars and cowards are running the country.

        • @Ralph: “I do believe that thieves, liars and cowards are running the country.”

          How’d they get there?

  2. There are an awful lot of loose ends surrounding “Sandy Hook”. Do a web search on “Wolfgang Halbig” and see what you think. He’s asked some basic questions and met with nothing but stony silence, which is telling in and of itself.

  3. I always had my own plan for an active shooter when I was in high school: grab some heavy equipment from the physics classroom, and wait by the door. A vial of HCl from the chemistry room would work too. Try aiming without a face! My teachers didn’t seem to have a problem with this, although trying to take a weapon out of my hands during a shooter drill would have been ridiculous.

    • truly a visionary. but what if you were cornered during home ec? a fistful of babo kitchen kleanser to the eyes? vinegar and baking soda to distract and then advance to safety while clutching a pyrex measuring cup brimming with capsicum oil!
      in high school we were concentrating on defeating the electromagnetic door locks so as to hit the tracks. we were safe. we had dobbie burton’s son as a hall monitor.
      with a shrinking body of over 5000 students it would be one hell of an “it’s a small world”. that disney attraction (repulsion?) is potentially the ultimate pump gallery, entirely devoid of visitors natch.

      • “truly a visionary. but what if you were cornered during home ec? a fistful of babo kitchen kleanser to the eyes? ”

        A can of wasp – hornet spray has a range of 20 feet or so…

        • And doesn’t work very well..per the dude in Seattle (if memory serves) that tried it and had his wife save the day with a kitchen knife…after the assailant had attacked her earlier in the day.

  4. As long as the Progressives believe that each school shooting gets them closer to abolishing the 2nd amendment, they will never consider any measure the may prove effective unless it is merely for show in front of the cameras.

    • Yup. Every (white) juvenile corpse is simply another acceptable loss in the war on individual liberty.

      The fixes are there. At the very least measures to mitigate losses are there. And cheap if not outright free. Yet they are all intentionally ignored in favor of harping on rules and laws and regulations that do absolutely nothing toward reducing the severity or preventing the action.

      Politicians don’t want to rely on monetary or time donations anymore. Now they just take your childrens lives to help move the agenda along. More and more like vampires every day.

    • The liberals really want the school shootings to continue so they have more victims to parade around Congress. The liberals really do want the kids to be slaughtered. You think they send their kids to places as Sandy Hook?

  5. “The cynical amongst you might say that the results of the investigation into the tragedy were delayed long enough for Governor Malloy and his boyz to ram through gun control laws”

    It contributed to the rise of conspiracy theories about it also.

  6. “The sooner we repeal Bush the Elder’s Gun-Free School Zone Safety Act, the better. It’s not the answer, but it would be an important step in the right direction.”

    Perhaps more important would be changing various state laws to allow people to carry on school grounds.

    Even if the federal GFSZA was repealed, that step wouldn’t affect any of us with permits to carry – because the federal GFSZA doesn’t apply to us. In most (nearly all?) states, state law still forbids carrying firearms inside a school. For example, CO law says I have to leave mine locked up in my vehicle.

    • My wife works for a high school and I work on a federal installation. We’re doubly screwed. VT doesn’t allow carrying in either place.

      • Yep – another state law. You’re exempt from the federal GFSZA (18 USC 922(q)(2)(A)), but most states have varying degrees of their own prohibitions.

      • We only have it slightly better in Texas, in that your CHL allows you on the property, but not the “premises.” That always sounded like the same thing to me, but premises actually refers to the buildings themselves, not the general grounds or parking lot. There are other subtleties to carrying on/around campus here, but that’s the very basics.

    • CT law (at least used to allow for this; I don’t think it changed with our new laws) carrying a firearm on school grounds with permission from the superintendent.

    • In Ohio, the local school boards have the final say on whether or not a teacher can carry in the school (assuming they have a CCW.) I’ll be presenting to my board soon, and I think I have the votes. Our superintendent will wet his panties and get hysterical, but we have one part-time sheriffs deputy to cover the whole district. Lemme tell you, I feel SO MUCH safer when Deputy Dawg is on my campus…

  7. A lot of people who know better in the school systems are retiring. I think the cadre of teachers that entered into the school systems in the 60’s and the 90′ are the worst. If we can get them dislodged it might get better.

    • It might get better, but a better pile of garbage and feces is still a pile pf garbage and feces. Our current public school system is the result of a century-long failed experiment, using children as lab rats. Making a few minor changes here and there and getting a few smarter teachers won’t fix the massive conceptual and structural flaws that are the root of its failings.

  8. “we note that the school’s active shooter plan was fatally flawed.”

    in my opinion ANY active shooter plan that doesn’t begin with “as soon as hostiles are confirmed, fill hostiles full of holes until they stop being hostile” is fatally flawed.

  9. Another example of Castle doctrine. Collect your coin and leave your conscience at home. Also demonstrates no one is interested in corrective action, whether it be of cost or burning a few brain cells actually solving a problem.

    What is worst is shaping a narrative of bulldozing a school under the guise of closure when in fact it is to absolve the district of responsibility. I hope the cop that stood, doing nothing while one round after another slammed in to children sleeps well, collects his pension and moves to the sunshine state while demons eat whatever is left of his soul.

  10. When some schools don’t even have enough desks for all of their kids, you think they are gonna retrofit all of the locks on the doors? It’s the “it won’t happen to me” mentality.

  11. I want to see the look on the janitors face when the administrators and the school board told him “on top of your $7.00 and hour job cleaning toilets and mopping up childrens vomit we need you to run through the halls and lock all the doors if somebody ever enters the building intent on murdering the lot of us.”

  12. We no longer have to wait for some hideous mental illness to surface. Is it not plain to see Islamic Jihad approaching?

    Canadian Parliament
    White House
    Local Elementary School
    We had better get Uni background checks in place real quick, that will stop them.

  13. I love the Irony:

    Obama: Science, Not Fear, Key To Ebola Response

    Except when it comes to gun control, then it is emotions and fear all day long to press the agenda and throw out all science and facts.

    The post above shows one in a long line of reasons why the new gun control laws where all BS!

  14. Anyone catch the irony here that the Professor in the article is named Tom Foley?
    For those of you who don’t live in the Constitution state, Tom Foley is the Republican candidate for Governor running (again) against Malloy. Hopefully this time the rematch works out a little differently.

    • I remember donating to the De-Foleyate campaign in 1994… (For you youngsters, this was the first effective internet-based political campaign. Something Wikipedia seems to be missing.)

      That clown’s name was Tom Foley too.

  15. It’s not very damned hard or expensive to change the handles on the doors in a school. Yet this may be one of the most effective ways to mitigate all kinds of mass violence in schools.

    “If it would save one life!”

  16. “What happens when that person gets shot” better question what happens when that person says F this I’m not walking the halls defenseless locking the veal calves in their boxes while there’s a nut job shooting people?

  17. I imagine that no police, fire or EMS services were contacted for input on the plan.

    The plan was more than likely created with the thoughts that it would never happen at Sandy Hook and devised by bright-eyed, warm-smiled teachers fresh out of college.

    Yes, the bulldozing of Sandy Hook, while I understand not making the surviving kids have to go back their for class, should not have happened and we should have seen more evidence from the day of the shooting. At least grainy surveillance video of Lanza shooting out the front window and entering the school or at least the parking lot and getting his guns ready. The lack of information made available to the public is disturbing.

  18. In Kentucky the only places a CCDW holder cannot by state law carry into police stations, sheriffs offces and jails. Schools and universities make their own rules saying that no one other than LEO’s can carry on those premises.

  19. Ok, let’s run the numbers on this one. I’d like to look at this from a purely statistics perspective, check emotion at the door. In my opinion, the main reason to keep guns out of schools is for fear of accidental (pronounced “negligent”) discharges causing harm to the students. Not totally unfounded or unreasonable on the surface. I see here: http://mortality-rates.findthebest.com/d/d/Accidental-discharge-of-firearms it’s caused about 6000 deaths over the last 8 years. But, let’s weigh that against the number of preventable deaths from school shootings in the past few years.

    I’ll stick to K-12, even though “school shootings” tend to be more frequent in colleges. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

    Let’s assume that these shootings cannot be totally prevented by armed faculty. Given the shooters element of surprise it would be almost impossible to prevent the first death, but let’s call every death after that “preventable”. Over the past 4 years, I count 46 school shooting deaths in 9 events in which more than one person was killed. That makes 35 preventable deaths over the past 4 years (8.75 deaths per year), that could have been saved by a good guy with a gun.

    Back to the negligent discharges. A 2011 Gallup poll estimates that 47 percent of US households own a gun. Which makes for 47% of 316 million Americans with access to a gun (148.5 million).
    This leaves the odds of ND-based death at 6000 deaths/8 years/148.5 million ppl = 0.000005 ND deaths/year/person with access to a gun.

    Let’s propose to give about 2 staff members per school access to a gun. With 132,182 K-12 schools in the us, that puts ~264,000 people with access to a gun in schools. Assuming these people cause ND-based death at an average rate and for the sake of argument that EVERY one of those ND deaths happens in the school (this is me attempting to be conservative, as most NDs would not happen at school but at home), that would lead to an expected number of .000005 *264,000 = 1.3 deaths MAX per year caused by a teacher’s ND. While this would certainly be a tragedy, potentially more than 6 times as many lives will have been saved in the process. That’s more than 7 people each year who get to go home to their families every year. If you have better or more compelling information, I’d love to hear it.

    “…if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.” -Barack Obama

    I agree with you there, Barry. Let’s try.

    • Now, consider that you used all age groups to arrive at that 6,000 number.

      10-14: 310
      5-9: 128
      1-4: 112

      Anything over that, and you get into conflating numbers with gang member activity; even so:

      15-19: 823

      And those numbers are all over an eight-year period.

      Accidental death due to negligent discharge of firearms is so statistically insignificant that it should not be considered in the evaluation of any plan or idea designed to reduce the risk of murdering children in schools.

      • I agree. But what other reason could they possibly have for not allowing CHL holders in schools? That’s the only one that I could think of. Then again, I guess my imagination ain’t what it used to be.

  20. I’m shocked. It’s no wonder so much carnage was allowed to take place. I’d like to see the reaction from the parents and “dance on the graves” Watts.

  21. “The sooner we repeal Bush the Elder’s Gun-Free School Zone Safety Act, the better.”

    Hear hear. That thing is a travesty.

  22. The door knobs didn’t need to be changed. They only needed to be locked all the time. The teacher carries the key everywhere. If a teacher’s key gets locked up, the janitor opens the door. There are thousands of this style of knob through out schools in this country. It costs a ton of money to replace them but they don’t need to be replaced…only locked. Lock down goes into effect, close the door. Next wait for the window in the door to be broken and a hand reach in and unlock the door from the inside. Smash the hand with a bat if the teacher hasn’t been allowed to carry in the classroom.

  23. My first day teaching at a major university I checked my classroom door and to my surprise, I could not lock the door from the inside. There was also not one mention during my orientation on what I should do in case of an emergency. This was 3 years.

  24. That’s if there really was a Sandy Hook school shooting. I still think it was staged, since there has not been one thing about it that had any common sense associated with it from day one.

  25. At least they have locks, even if impractical. Many offices and conference rooms in newer office buildings don’t even have locks. Pair that with near floor to ceiling hall windows, and you have no real concealment, let alone cover or barrier. Hell, throw in the “gun-free” zone b.s. and a patriotism-is-tacky mentality, and your basic office worker can’t even wield a flagpole as a last ditch defense.

    I want to believe Ghandi was onto something in exhorting us to be the change we want to see in the world. For me, though, that means being a peaceful armed guy and encouraging others to be peaceful and armed. It does not mean disarming myself and hoping others will be peaceful.

  26. Before I retired from a public school district I went to schools that did not have a fence around them. Some where fenceless with public parks on their boundaries.

    Walk around campus and find practically all outside doors had floor to cieling windows right next to them.

    But no worries, they all had no gun signs posted. Made everybody safer.

  27. George H. W. Bush’s GFSZA was repealed by the United States Supreme Court in the Lopez case, which was the first modern rollback of the Fed’s Commerce Clause Power.

    The last was slightly modified to make it appear to conform to Lopez and passed under Bill Clinton. Calling it Bush’s Act is wrong and incorrect. It’s Clinton’s law.

    And BTW, the original 1990 law (that was subsequently repealed in Lopez) was introduced by Joe Biden. It was revised in 1995 to make it appear conforming by Janet Reno. What a rogues gallery of anti-gun hooligans and murderers!

  28. I do NOT do conspiracy theories at all. Don’t know anything except what the “news” and the “official reports” say…..but if this case were to be “taken to court” and all evidence that existed had to be presented methinks the court might decide that there was a LACK of CLEAR EVIDENCE that this incident took place as “officially reported”. There are more holes in this mess than a warehouse full of Swiss cheese. I don’t know what happened at Sandy Hook…I doubt we will ever know. I KNOW however, that we are being sold lie after lie from those in power…some things never change.

  29. According to a statement released by school superintendent Janet Robinson, district protocol was to have teachers put doors in “locked” position at the beginning of the class/schoolday, and in the event of an emergency they could be quickly pulled shut. Unknown if this really was policy or just after-the-fact CYA. At least one teacher in an affected room didn’t have a key to begin with. What’s odd is that there was supposed to have been a recent drill–one would think the problems would have been identified then.

  30. I don’t believe the official version either. All I know is 28 died that day. Home school people. My son & brother do it. If my kids weren’t grown I would. Agree with the virtual prison analogy. Sorta’ like what the world is turning into…

  31. Do a search on the FBI website on crimes committed by state then by city in 2012. Table #8 shows a total of 7 people killed by “violent crime” in Newtown Conn. for the entire year. I saw a screen shot of this table on another web site and didn’t believe it….until I researched myself. Very fishie. Then top it off with the federal gov. requiring the demolition crew to sign statements that they would not disclose anything they saw on the grounds of the school, or face prosecution. What’s to hide? What’s up with the error on the FBI website? Just food for thought folks.

  32. So, silly suggestion, but: why didn’t they put the hinges on the other side of the door frame, and then hang the doors so that they open inward, with the locking mechanism on the inside? It wouldn’t have cost anything more than time and a few drill bits, plus the cost of duplicating the door keys for each teacher.

  33. If signs and zero tolerance policies can’t keep a disturbed 14 year old from wandering into school with a gun and shooting kids, then how will they keep out a small group of determined terrorists with superior tactics, weapons and a willingness to martyr themselves in a desire to cause maximum suffering for their ’cause’?

  34. Just curious…
    There is all this talk about “ACTIVE SHOOTER” situations …
    SO……What is done or happens during an “INactive SHOOTER” situation?
    How would one know truly which kind of “shooter” is shooting?`

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