Madison School District discusses adding interior classroom locks in wake of Florida shooting

MADISON, Wis. - A Madison School Board member wants to improve safety at district schools after the deadliest high school shooting in history.

After the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, a safety commission put together a list of steps schools could take to become safer. On the top of their list was adding locks to the inside of classrooms instead of the outside.

Madison School Board member Kate Toews is behind the push. Now, the Madison Metropolitan School District hopes to add interior locks to classrooms by the beginning of next school year.

Toews said an active shooter has never breached a locked door inside a school.

"While none of us want to think of what that's been like, and hopefully we never get there, it is something we can do to ensure we're keeping all our kids safe," Toews explained.

Toews brought the idea up to the school board during Monday's meeting. She hopes locks won't be the lone improvement at Madison schools this year.

At the next board meeting, the district will not only talk about how to pay for the locks, but how to implement and pay for mental health programs in schools to prevent a tragedy like Sandy Hook.

"I have two young kids in our schools," Toews said. "I have a kindergartner and a second grader, and like many parents, it's really hard to send your kids to school after something like this happens."

The Madison Metropolitan School District released a statement to News 3, saying the goal is to have these locks installed by next school year.

"We know that our facilities are important to safety," the statement reads. "The district has made improvements in things like secure entrances and cameras. Our facilities team is taking on this project to update locks on all classroom doors so they can be locked from the inside of the classroom. Right now we are nailing down an exact timeline and final cost. Our goal is to have the project complete by the start of the school year."

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