Parma firefighter says political rhetoric over limiting exits at schools is bad idea

PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Lawmakers in Texas are blaming the increase in school shootings on the way the schools are designed and built.

Yes, you read that right.

"We have too many people who can get onto our school campuses with guns who are not deterred and they're not detected, so I'm proposing that our new school designs are built that way and we retro-fit our schools," said Texas Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick.

In particular, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick believes schools should have limited entrances and exits. Parents Cleveland 19 News spoke to disagreed.

"It's almost required for fire safety, especially the environment like the school and it's a larger building, you need multiple available exits and entrances for the children," said one parent.

"It's dangerous for the kids, they need escape to get out, and I don't think it's a good plan," said another parent.

Neither do firefighters in Parma's firehouse.

"We think it's a bad idea. The fire codes were designed with safety in mind. We can harken back to the Collinwood Fire in 1908 because a bunch of children perished because of the lack of exits," said Spokesman TJ Martin.

Which is one reason why Martin says talks of a plan to redesign schools and limit entrances and exits to help law enforcement better know who is coming and going IS dangerous.

Not to mention, trapping students inside the buildings when they need to get out.

Back in 1908, Lakeview Elementary school burned down in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood.

At least 175 students and teachers were killed in the fire and it's considered one of the nation's deadliest.

Officials believe the death toll was high because entrances into and out of the school were limited.

"The fire started, still to this day unknown origin but several children on the second floor attempted to get out and there weren't sufficient enough exits. So those children just got jammed up into the egress and they all perished in the fire," said Martin.

Which is why Martin and others are very critical of the Texas lawmakers solution to the school shooting problem.

A series of school safety discussions also begins today in Texas.

The governor is hosting three days of talks about gun legislation.

The topics include possibly arming teachers in the classroom.

Parents, students and those on both sides of the issue are taking part.

Texas leaders say more must be done to keep students safe.

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