Mass. couple designs special door lock intended to keep school shooters out

FITCHBURG, Mass. — A Massachusetts couple is helping change the school of thought when it comes to security by creating a special kind of lock for classroom doors.

Students were back in class at the Abbey Kelley Foster Charter School in Worcester with a new kind of lock made to keep school shooters out.

'Teacherlock' was born after the Parkland, Florida school shooting when the principal of the Abbey Kelley Foster school came in to do some work one weekend and realized she forgot her keys. Fortunately, her husband was with her.

"I had a screwdriver and just popped the lock and I was in in two seconds," said Salvatore Emma.

The ease with which Salvatore was able to trip the lock to his wife's office trouble them both.

"We talked at that point about our safety protocols and what our teachers do in lockdown drills," said principal Amy Emma.

What they did in safety drills is what many teachers do - step outside the classroom and lock the door.

"It's a very sad, sad reality but it's something we have to deal with as teachers," said teacher Megan LaPierre.

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That reality got the Emmas thinking about a better way, a better lock, and months of research and refinement later, the Emmas rolled out Teacherlock.

"The teacher walks up to the door and pushes in the bolt closed and it's locked. Now the door's secure," said Salvatore.

The only way to get in from the outside is by use of a special key, only accessible by emergency personnel.

"All they have to do is insert the key and it unlocks the door," said Salvatore.

As for busting through that window...

"It breaks like a windshield," said Salvatore.

Teacherlock is manufactured in Fitchburg and is selling to school systems nationwide.

Amy Emma's school may buy more Teacherlocks next year after getting a donation this year.

"School budgets are always tight, but we take school safety seriously so this comes to the top of that list if you will," said Abbey Kelley Foster school executive director Brian Haas.

Teacherlock is a family business, the Emmas say, and they are in business to turn a profit on an item they hope to sell, and hope buyers never have to use.

The Emmas say two of the big selling points of Teacherlock are cost and ease of installation. Each unit costs about $220 and they can be installed using a drill and a screwdriver.

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