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Schools look at laminated glass

District 833 officials are considering using laminated glass in new security doors being installed at Pine Hill, Hillside and Pullman elementary schools.

The move is in response to an incident at Hastings Middle School in April where a student with a gun was able to easily shatter the tempered glass in classroom windows and access classrooms, and proposed legislation requiring districts to consider laminated glass as an alternative to tempered glass, said district director of facilities John Doth.

Tempered glass shatters into little pieces without sharp edges with impact, but laminated glass, like a car windshield, cracks, and typically stays in place.

Doth said the district will consider putting the glass into doors at other schools, too. The district is planning to install security doors at Woodbury, Royal Oaks and Newport elementary schools next year, he said, and Armstrong Elementary the year after that.

In some of the high school and middle school buildings, there are already fire doors that can close off entire wings of the schools, Doth said. Cottage Grove and Lake middle school have wire glass separating the teaching pods from the main hallway, so that glass would be protective in the same way laminated glass would, he said.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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