A US school has introduced a bullet proof classroom to better protect students and teachers in the case of an active shooter emergency.
Cullman City Schools’ West Elementary in Alabama has installed Rapid-Deploy Safe Room Systems in two of its classrooms according to Unilad.
KT Security Solutions came up with the design in response to the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas last year. Nineteen students and two teachers died, while seventeen others were injured.
The design incorporates a fold-out room that extends from a whiteboard featuring bullet proof walls. One door is locked from the inside and only unlocked with a key.
The safe room can be pulled out and assembled within 10 seconds.
After coming up with the design, founder and CEO of KT Security Solutions Kevin Thomas proposed the system to Kyle Kallhoff – superintendent (an administrator or manager in charge of a number of public schools) of Cullman City Schools.
Mr Kallhoff told WBRC: “In the unimaginable thought or action of a shooter, this is a safe place for the students or the teacher to get in.”
Mr Thomas noted: “Our goal here is to give every kid an opportunity to go home in the evening. What we have is a way to save kids. I don’t want to be here, it’s crazy, but somebody’s gotta do it. They asked, I heard the parents on that board over here, those 19 from Uvalde and the spouses of the teachers, said don’t let this go nowhere, make it count and that’s what we are doing.
“I can’t control policies, I don’t control gun control, I don’t control mental illness, I don’t control any of that. I’m not a policymaker…what we do have control over is the ability to make things that are innovative in the meantime, while we fix the bigger issues, we are going to do the here and now.”
Reaction on social media to the innovation has been divided.
One person wrote “Just. Ban. The. F**king. Guns.” while another said she “despaired”.
“How on Earth this is the best option America has … those poor kids growing up with this being ‘normal’. The greatest country in the world,” she wrote.
Another social media user was equally dismissive “If this is what I had to send my son to every day I’d just homeschool. How can the US think this is a good solution.”
US long history of school gun violence
US schools have lived with the reality of increasingly frequent school shootings for decades.
The worst shooting was in April 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech where 33 people died, and 23 were injured, followed by Sandy Hook Elementary School where 28 people died and two were injured in December 2012. Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in May last year was the third worst school shooting in US history.
Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and young adults in the US.
The debate over US gun laws has raged for decades, often reigniting after high-profile mass shootings.
Gun ownership in the United States is rooted in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
Polls are clear that while Americans don’t believe gun control would solve all of the problems associated with gun violence, a commanding majority support universal background checks and an assault-weapons ban.
However, Congress has repeatedly been unable to pass meaningful gun legislation in the wake of these tragedies despite broad public support for new restrictions.
Small, rural states where gun ownership is widespread have disproportionate influence in the US Senate, where a supermajority of 60 votes is needed to advance most legislation in the 100-seat chamber.