Parents whose children attend Griffith Elementary can rest a little easier knowing that extra precautions are being taken to protect children at the school in case of an intruder.
With the help of the Griffith PTO, the school is now equipped with the Sleeve, a metal device that fits over the arm joints of doors. Griffith PTO President Nancy Armstrong said the first school in southern Indiana to purchase the device that was created by an Iowa teacher in 2013 but recently patented.
"The PTO waited for the teacher, Daniel Nietzel, to get the patent and to get his product on the market," said Armstrong, who said the Sleeves are in the process of being placed in each classroom as well as the doors to other popular destinations at the elementary. "We actually saw these about a year ago and it's really that a teacher came up with this idea."
Armstrong said each Sleeve has a custom fit meaning that the arm joint of each door needs to be measured to ensure a proper fit. When installed, the Sleeve would require 550 pounds of pressure to open the door. "I really hope we never have to use them but, I feel so much better knowing they (the teachers) have them," said Armstrong, adding that the hope is that intruders cannot easily open the door and will move on.
Lightweight and durable, the Sleeves will hang in each classroom and will only be utilized during intruder drills or if there is an actual threat to the school. "These are easy to install," said Armstrong who demonstrated how to use the device to students in a second grade classroom. Use of the Sleeve requires no keys, no modification to the door and no one needs to exit the classroom to install the device.
Available for purchase at www.fightingchancesolutions.com, the Sleeve costs about $70 per device. "We are hoping that other area schools will also look into the Sleeves," said Armstrong. To help offset the cost, Fighting Chance Solutions also offers certificates that can be sent to teachers to purchase the Sleeve for their classroom.
"We are really looking forward to getting all the Sleeves installed," said Rich Lloyd, Griffith Elementary principal. "We really appreciate the efforts of the PTO to bring these to our school."