Letter: Door stops, ballistic shields should be in classrooms

I can’t claim to know exactly what happened that terrible day in Uvalde, Texas. I have read numerous reports that seem to be constantly changing as officials try to cover their you-know-what.

Some things do emerge as being truthful for me.

• The gunman was able to barricade himself in those two classrooms by locking the doors from the inside. This caused a delay while keys to the doors were provided by a janitor who had to be hunted down. Precious time was lost.

• Nineteen police officers were massed in the hallways outside the room, while children were still being killed on the inside. No one was willing to rush the shooter until a Border Patrol agent arrived with a ballistic shield, which he used to end the killing.

Now I cannot condemn those officers in the hall. I myself would be unwilling to rush that murder hole of a doorway while a deranged killer with a high-powered rifle was monitoring it. Those officers had wives and children of their own to protect.

So, what steps can we take now to increase our chances of preventing Uvalde from happening here?

I propose these two things.

• Remove the locks installed on the interior doors and instead purchase door stops accessible by teachers to use in a lockdown. This would prevent an intruder who already had control of a room to be able to deny outside access by rescuers. Yes, I realize this is an imperfect way. It would seem to be a way to prevent control by a crazed killer who could not be thinking straight himself.

• Purchase ballistic shields and have them readily available to police officers.

I have emailed our Allen County sheriff with these suggestions but have not had a reply, so I thought I would throw these ideas out here.

Martin Schultheis