"We have as good of a system as Connecticut had, which tells you something," Thaw said. "If demented people are intent on something, they're going to do it."
Bev Jarrett, director of safety and security for Kanawha County Schools, is revisiting safety measures and working to make sure that every school has a consistent crisis response plan.
Kanawha school board member Bill Raglin said he understands concerns about the locks on classroom doors, but that, for the most part, Kanawha County schools are secure.
"We've been continually trying to tie up the loose ends, and we need to correct it, but I don't know if it's as big of an issue as one might think," Raglin said. "Any time an incident happens of the magnitude as in Connecticut, it makes everybody become a little bit more concerned about what they have.
"It's definitely raised some eyebrows, but you want to do everything you can do, short of having an armed fortress."
Raglin did not know of any set deadline for the locks to be installed but he believes that by the end of the holiday break is not a feasible goal.
At the most recent school board meeting, Duerring urged Hollandsworth to expedite the process and said that, in the meantime, there's no reason why classrooms should ever be unlocked.
"I'm reluctant to say we should always keep the doors locked, because there's always going to be some sort of an exception," Raglin said. "If a teacher steps out into the hallway and has a clear view of the class, should they really lock it?"
Board member Becky Jordon acknowledged that the lock installations have been put on the backburner for other necessary projects -- such as replacing many schools' outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
Jordon said the school system has always addressed safety issues on a regular basis and secure buildings have been a priority since Duerring's been superintendent. There's only so much you can do, she said.
"It never hurts to try to address some issues, that's for sure," she said, "but I just think, when a crazy person wants in a school, they're going to get in."
Teachers should keep their doors locked at all times -- especially in schools where access to common areas is simple, Jordon said.
"At George Washington, you're in the cafeteria before you even see anyone else. At John Adams, you can go straight into the gym before you see the main office," she said. "And those aren't the only schools that are laid out weird like that, so it doesn't hurt to keep your doors shut."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.