In less than a week, students will return to class in Dalton and notice some security upgrades.

This comes after former teacher Randal Davidson fired a gun in a classroom in February.

The district has installed them in classrooms, offices and closets. They may look simple, but can make a big difference when there's a lockdown on campus.

All schools in Dalton now have intruder locks. They are the newest safety mechanisms to keep students protected.

"It's worth every dime. One person is worth that to me,” Rusty Lount, Director of Operations for Dalton Public Schools said.

School board members approved the purchase for around $800,000. That's about $300 each.

In all, Lount said there are about 1300 locks.

"Knowing that they can see the doors lock, they can see the function of it, and how it protects them and they know they'll feel safe in that environment," Lount said.

What makes the locks different are that teachers can lock the door from the inside and the outside.

Administrators said that wasn't the case before the upgrades.

"You had to put yourself in harm's way, which means you may get nervous and not be able to lock your door or may be injured before you could lock your door and secure yourself in the room,” Lount said.

That's why Lount said these intruder locks are so important when seconds matter.

Even if it's locked from the inside, teachers can still open their doors without a key. They can guide their students out in case of a fire or other emergency.

"Learning is part of our core business, but also safety. Kids can't learn if they don't feel like they're attending and going to a safe school,” Principal Steve Bartoo said.

Each teacher has a key that can lock any classroom from the inside. It's the outside lock that takes a certain key.

Principal Bartoo says it's up to teachers to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

"You're professional. These are your keys. This is to your room. You should be keeping up with those things,” Principal Bartoo said.

The principal is more at ease as school is about to start. The case of the teacher who had a gun in a classroom and caused quite a scare is behind them.

A plea agreement was reached in the case.

"We really needed that to happen. So our school, our school community could move forward,” Principal Bartoo said.

Teachers will receive their classroom key on Thursday.

On Friday, administrators will hold a meeting reviewing emergency plans and talking about the new lock system.