Classroom Safety With Paper Blinds And Magnetic Strips

16 August 2014

The absolute last thing a teacher wants to worry about is classroom safety related to lockdown drills, intruder alerts, and violence within the school.  But we do and we have to be AWARE of school surroundings at all times whether we're in or out of our own classroom.

My Bright Idea revolves around two Classroom Safety Measures you can take to speed up the process in case of a school emergency which include magnetic strips and paper blinds.
I'll also be the first to tell you that each school, district, county, and state have varying rules regarding these safety measures, so double check with your administration to make sure it's okay.
The Magnetic Strip
About a year ago our school began using magnetic strips on our doors. These magnets slide over the door's strike plate (where the door wouldn't normally shut) and allow us to quickly lock the doors when removed.  

The magnetic strips block the door from latching but also allows you to always keep your door locked all the time (without locking yourself out).  If a time comes when you need to lock the door just remove the magnet.  No keys are needed, just remove the strip and close your door.

This has worked very well at my school and worked out great during our lockdown drills and even a couple of other times.  It will take you a bit of time to become accustomed to opening your doors by pulling rather than turning the knob (since you always keep them locked, but after a while it becomes second nature.

Paper Blinds For Indoor Windows
During lockdown-type drills we're asked to move our students away from windows and out of line-of-sight.  Some classes can do that, others can't.  Many teachers have curtains by their door windows.  I'm not a curtain guy, so I invested five dollars to buy paper blinds.  

Normally I always want to be able to see out of my window since it faces a main hallway, but during emergencies outside of class and/or situations inside my room I just unclip the blinds for immediate privacy/security.  I love the speed of this too--it's done in literally a second.

Overall it took about 5 minutes from start to finish to put up the blinds.  You can even use a paper cutter to make them fit to size.  I picked mine up at Home Depot, but you can find them at just about any hardware store.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out this Bright Idea.  There are almost 150 other wonderful ideas that you should continue to check out, so make sure you see all the links below.  School is just beginning so I can only imagine all the excellent ideas I'm going to find and try!

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  1. Brilliant! I usually use butcher paper or a cloth to cover the window, but I love how this allows me to still decorate my door and protect our room during a lockdown at the same (as we are required to cover our windows in the event of a lockdown).
    Tales of a Teacher

  2. Great idea. In the past I have used just construction paper that I rolled down to cover the winder on my door. I love the paper blinds! Thank you for sharing! I am going to send this post to my building safety team / committee!

  3. I am going to have to get some of those magnetic strips. I'll bet they're useful for plenty of things!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  4. I have also just used rolled up butcher paper, tape, and a couple of paperclips, but love the paper blind option. So simple. I like the idea of the magnetic strip, but I leave my room frequently and need to lock the door when I do because of "sticky fingers" in my middle school. Trying to remember to pull the magnet out each time, or finding somewhere else to stick it, seems somewhat of a hassle, unless you've already solved that dilemma. Anyway, great post, thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great idea!!! Seriously... how come we have not heard of this yet?

    Jennifer from Simply Kinder

  6. Oh wow! Great ideas. It's something we don't like to think about but always need to be prepared. Love the magnetic strip on the door. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Kathy Griffin's Teaching Strategies

  7. Both fabulous ideas. I live in a pod and we started locking our doors. We now have doorbells on both doors that we bought at Home Depot or Lowe's. I have curtains on the two side windows, but nothing on the door. I need to do the paper blinds for the door. That will be so much easier than dealing with a paper that has to be unrolled. Thanks for your geniusness!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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