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Legislation in Lansing would expand which classrooms can have door blockades

Mourners grieve at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., on Wednesday, the day after a gunman opened fire at the school, killing four students and wounding seven other people.
Paul Sancya
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Mourners grieve at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., on Wednesday, the day after a gunman opened fire at the school, killing four students and wounding seven other people.

New legislation has been introduced in Lansing that would expand which school classrooms are allowed to have door blockades.

After the Oxford school shooting, schools saw an increased demand for protection measures. Door blockades, about the size of a notebook, have been shown to be effective. But, they’re only approved for classrooms with a capacity of fewer than 50 people.

With the pandemic, schools have been forced to teach from other parts of the schools like cafeterias where children can spread out. Republican representative Scott VanSingel sponsored the bill to allow door blockades in more areas. He says it was an oversight to exclude larger, public areas of schools. “They place these barricades in place and that secured the students inside the classrooms, so they do work, they do save lives and it’s just unfortunate we have the need for them in this day and age,” he said.

Vansingel says he sees the bill heading to the governor's desk within the next few weeks.