While we hear a lot about gun control in the wake of school shootings, the fact remains that if a mentally disturbed person wants to commit a heinous criminal act, he’ll probably find a way around whatever laws our congressmen might pass. What’s more interesting and realistic to many of us, as far as deterrents and protective measures go, is to hear solutions that don’t begin and end with disarmament as the driving force. Some schools have proposed arming teachers and having armed security guards policing entries and exits. While that might seem a tad excessive, I’d feel a heck of a lot safer knowing that my son or daughter is in a place where grown-ups at least have a fighting chance.
But there are also some great solutions being put forward that utilize new technologies and don’t have any bearing on what the law may or may not be. Case in point, a Michigan father who has gotten fed up with the violence has invented a simple device that helps keep students safe while inside their classrooms. It’s called “The Boot,” and it has already been installed in the Reeths-Puffer School District.
The theory behind “The Boot” is similar to the type of tire boot you might see placed on a car in order to immobilize it. It’s basically a slab of metal that can jam the doors of classrooms shut within seconds, making it nearly impossible to penetrate them. If a teacher feels threatened, he or she can instantly trigger The Boot, which can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure.
Creator Rob Couturier says he got the idea after his daughter was bullied by someone who wasn’t even supposed to be on school grounds. Once he heard about the Sandy Hook massacre, he finally put his idea into action. “That little metal thing would’ve saved everyone’s lives if it was there,” he says.
It’s also a great story of small business innovation, much like you might see on an episode of Shark Tank. “My goal is to have about 250 jobs here in the state of Michigan,” says Couturier. “Manufacturing is going to stay here; everything is going to stay right here.”
Next, he plans on implementing a second school safety product known as “The Blast Shield,” which is an aluminum structure that can be propped up to to replace the glass part of a classroom door for added protection against gunfire.
All of it continues to be a ton of work, but for Rob Couturier, “Every time a teacher says thank you, that’s what it’s all about.”
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