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State Senator suggests additional emergency exits at First State schools

A Delaware lawmaker is suggesting additional emergency exits to protect First State students against incidents like the Connecticut school shooting.

State Senator Dave Lawson (R-Marydel) says he’ll introduce a resolution to look at the feasibility of placing “panic exits” in Delaware public school classrooms.

The former Delaware State Police Lieutenant says the doors would be in each ground floor exterior classroom, allowing students and teachers to exit more quickly in the event of an emergency.

“Most classrooms have large windows,” said Lawson in a statement. “If there was a panic door in place of one of the windows, the occupants could escape quickly. These doors would be secured in a manner that they could only be opened from the inside. This type of exit would also be valuable for fires, bomb threats and any time that a quick evacuation was necessary.”

Lawson adds that the current protocol of locking schools down can actually be counter-productive.

“In my opinion, a lockdown places the children in much more danger,” Lawson said. “They’re locked in a room where they’re at the mercy of an assailant. This is the problem, they’re trapped. With an escape door they would be out of the danger zone in seconds.”

The resolution would have the appropriate state agencies examine if the exits make fiscal sense and if is too expensive, suggest ways to make it work.