Parents react after state fire marshal’s office allows use of barricade devices in schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office has changed a rule and will now allow teachers to use barricade devices for active shooter protection.

Teachers in Tennessee used to get fines for having barricades on doors, because it violates fire code.

That's before countless lives were lost in Florida and then Texas, which exposed a need for teachers to keep bad guys out.

Some parents said they were happy about the rule change.

"I'm with the barricade. I'm not with teachers carrying weapons," parent Ashley Kelly said.

Kelly says she used to be a substitute teacher and knows firsthand how quickly teachers have to think on their toes and balance everything.

"Teachers have to take on three or four different roles, such as babysitters and parents."

That's why she thinks, in the case of an active shooter, the barricade is the best option she's heard so far.

Altering the door to keep children safe from a shooter is no different from a drill, parent Jesse Matthews said.

"They already call it a lock down when they try to protect the students. That is a form of barricading," he said.

He thinks it's just an extra precaution and is glad fire marshals are letting teachers go that extra mile.

Matthews said, ultimately, it's not the answer to the gun control issue, but it could be a start. It could save lives during a school shooting.

"Anything you can do to protect the students could be a part of the solution," he said.

If a device is used for purposed other than security drills or lock downs, that will be noted as deficiency by the state.

In other words, the state wants to make sure the option isn't misused.

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