Locksmith designs device to better secure classroom doors
WHITE HOUSE, TN (WSMV) -
As many school districts talk about ways to make classrooms safer, most plans call for more police.
But at one school, they're putting a new type of lock on classroom doors that is designed to keep any potential danger from reaching students.
The device is called the Classroom Defender, and while there are lots of different locking mechanisms out there, the man behind this one says it is quick, easy and will save lives.
Officer Darryl Manlove patrols White House Heritage High School as the school resource officer.
"There's 916 students in this building and over 70 staff members, so it's a big undertaking," he said.
Now, he and some school leaders in Robertson County think the small device is a big way to keep students and staff safe in a potentially dangerous situation.
"This is one more step we could use to secure the inside of the building even better than it's already secured," Manlove said.
Local locksmith Jayson Wolbert created the Classroom Defender device after the school shooting in Newtown, CT.
"All the teacher has to do is walk over to the door and press the black pedal with her foot, and that will drive the bolt down into the ground," Wolbert said.
The safety device is designed to go on the inside of classroom doors, giving teachers or students a quick way to the lock door in an emergency without having to step into the hallway with a key.
"If an intruder is coming down the hall with a gun, you don't want your teacher out in the hall," Wolbert said.
One of Robertson County's elementary schools is installing the Classroom Defenders on five doors next week, and some county leaders are pushing to put them or similar devices in every classroom in the district.
"I like the idea, and if subs are here, they don't have your classroom key, so it's immediate and it's quick," said teacher Samantha Kirby.
"If it saves one life, I'll be happy," Wolbert said.
In addition to schools in Robertson County, Wolbert has received orders for the device from schools across the country, including a small college in New York.
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