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Pittsburgh school board approves buying 4,400 intruder locks

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

Teachers will be able to lock out intruders from classrooms in Pittsburgh Public Schools as part of the school district's response to the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve the purchase of 4,400 intruder locks in all 59 schools and early learning centers. There was no discussion on the security measure.

The administration proposed buying the locks from Stanley Security Systems Inc. in Indianapolis. The equipment allows teachers to lock classrooms from the inside to prevent an incident like the one in December at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn. A gunman entered the school and killed 20 children and six adults.

The locks cost nearly $783,000, but that does not include the cost of installation. District officials expect that the locks will be installed by the end of the year.

"I applaud any school board that is willing to take additional steps to provide for the safety of their students. As much emphasis as we place on students succeeding academically, that success is only possible when students are learning in a safe and secure environment, said Donald Smith Jr., emergency planning and response management coordinator for the Center for Safe Schools in Camp Hill, Cumberland County.

Each teacher would have a key to lock the classroom upon an order over the loudspeaker system.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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