School buildings in which every locked room is accessible through the use of a single master key are vulnerable to serious security breaches, owing in part to the simplicity of a little-known lock-picking technique that allows master copies to be made in minutes.

Law enforcement agencies are being warned the technique could be used to defeat locks in most schools, dormitories, offices, and apartment buildings, which raises the question: Should school leaders consider alternative locking systems, such as computerized locks and swipe cards, that use technology to secure their students and...

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