When students in the Stuttgart School District head back to class for the 2018-2019 school year, they will have a new layer of protection in the event of an active shooter or other emergency.
It’s a solution made possible by the Stuttgart Fire Department that comes at no cost to the school district.
“We're going to do whatever it takes at the end of the day to protect a life, save a life,” Lt. Brent Rollins said. “That's our creed; we go by that.”
In recent months, Rollins has seen the news of school shootings across the country – scenes that have become increasingly hard to watch as his own daughter prepares to enter middle school.
“I needed a little more piece of mind in case something happened,” he said. “It just kind of came to me, and here we are.”
Rollins took decommissioned fire hose, that would otherwise be disposed of, and cut it into strips. In the event of a school intruder, teachers with metal door closers could slide the strip of hose onto their door arm and prevent anyone from entering the classroom.
With more than 100 strips ready to be deployed, Rollins presented the idea to Stuttgart Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Gales this week.
“It's a cheap and easy fix here and he was all for it,” Rollins said.
Due to fire code, the device can only be used in the event of an emergency.
Gales said the district is working on a number of safety improvements, including solutions to secure doors that do not have a metal arm. He said the district has also added two additional school resource officers and a psychological evaluator for the 2018-2019 school year.