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Uvalde school's classrooms lacked a basic security feature — and it’s missing across America

The classroom doors at Robb Elementary could not be locked from the inside. That's a vulnerability school safety experts have been warning about for decades.

UVALDE, Texas — The moment she heard the first pops of gunfire, the teacher knew what she had to do: She needed to make sure that her classroom door was locked. 

But at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that seemingly simple task would require her to take a life-threatening risk.

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As most of her students crawled under their desks to take cover, she made eye contact with one child she had always given the same job during their lockdown drills, the teacher recalled in an interview. Without speaking, the student followed her to the classroom door. 

“Do you remember what we do?” the teacher asked the boy, trying to keep her voice calm.

The boy, with tears in his eyes, nodded and said, “Yes, ma’am.”

Then the teacher pulled the door open. Took a deep breath. And stepped into the hall, praying that the shooter wouldn’t see her.

Click or tap here to read the full story on NBC News

RELATED: Uvalde mayor refutes ALERRT report, says no officer could have shot gunman before he entered school

RELATED: Uvalde mom who ran into school to save kids says police are harassing her for speaking out

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