This teacher’s invention could save your child’s life

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Teacher invents classroom protectorMUSCATINE, Iowa (WQAD) — It’s the last thing a teacher wants to have to think about: what to do in case a shooter is in the building.

Mass shootings in the past year like Sandy Hook and the one at an Oregon high school on Tuesday have led a few Muscatine middle school teachers to take action, and invent a device that will protect their classrooms.

“The Sleeve” is a 12-gauge carbon steel case that fits around the door’s closer arm, securing the door from the inside. The Sleeve can withstand more than 550 foot-pounds of pressure, making it nearly impossible to open from the outside.

Daniel Nitzel, a teacher at West Middle School in Muscatine, got the idea from the school’s active shooter training.

“We were instructed to tie a belt or a cord around the closer arm. It seemed like a logical way to secure a door without having to go into the hallway, [but] it took us a long time to get a cord, stand on a chair, and tie a knot, which could potentially be the most important tie of your life.” said Nitzel.

“I can tell you in our training, all five rooms that the teachers were trained in; the doors were breached, the cords were ripped, and the officer who was portraying the active shooter came in and killed all of us,” Nitzel said.

That’s when Nitzel and his colleagues formed the company Fighting Chance Solutions and began designing blueprints for The Sleeve. He said it’s been ten months in the making, but they finally have it ready and waiting for patent.

“We look at it as a cheap insurance policy. If you have someone out in the hallway, and you have an active situation, a dangerous situation unfolding and [don’t] want to go out into the hallway and lock your door, we want to provide you with a way to close that door,” said Nitzel.

The Sleeve is lightweight and compact, so it can be quickly applied and removed from the door’s opening mechanism in case of an emergency. It also allows the teachers to keep the door closed without having to enter the hallway to lock it from the outside, keeping them safe from harm.

“I think it’s a great product. It’s going to buy kids and teachers time for shootings,” said Muscatine Police Chief Brett Talkington. “These shooters [are] going to be pulling on the door. If they can’t get in, they’re going to move on.”

The Sleeve still awaits patent, but Muscatine Community College is fitting all their classrooms in their library and Larson Hall buildings with the device.

80 comments

  • Angela Feddersen

    We keep a magnet in the door and all doors are always locked if we have to shelter in place we just grab the magnet out of the door jam and pull the door tight

  • gage

    I’d suggest putting a strap on the end, preventing the sleeve from possibly sliding off? I’m sure you guys thought about it, maybe it would make no difference. I really don’t know, just trying to help. It’s sad we have to worry about things like this.

    Thanks for your time,

    Gage

  • Lee Goins

    LOL, not all door have that type of opening/closing device.

    Some teachers will be using this all the time, not just when the shit hits the fan, suppose a fan starts in the room and children are burned to death….who gets the blame then…..who should the parents/lawyers start pointing fingers at then.

    This may be a good device and a great idea, but I’m think alot more thought needs to go into it.

  • Jason Mueller

    Not trying to be funny, but what about a dead bolt? I don’t know if schools have policies against them, but they are time tested, very strong and can fit any door.

  • DeeG

    There is a product in the Market Called the Classroom Intruder Lock. Is is made by design hardware.

    You can find it by going to http://www.designhardware.net

    It is sold exclusively to commercial hardware distributors…it’s an amazing product that I wish all schools could and would upgrade to.

  • Frank

    Policy of always keeping your classroom door locked and closed works. Most buildings have doors that can be locked with the door key from inside the room.

  • AT

    It would not work in the room in the video. On shot to the window next to the door and the intruder is in.

  • Jamie

    Not a great idea, if the teacher steps out if the room the kids can lock them out. Or if there is a shooter who walks in before an alarm is alerted he can lock in 30+victims and execute every one of them. The police wouldn’t be able to get in either. In fact this is a terrible idea.

    • Hmmm

      Jamie, if a shooter with the right fire power gets into a classroom before the alarm is sounded, everyone in there is dead, anyway. He wouldn’t need to nor would he be stupid enough to take the time to try to install this device before commencing with shooting.

  • Yvonne

    I think this device is just simple enough to do the trick. When people are rattled, as during an actual lockdown, this would be easy to put into place. I want one for my classroom.

  • MJ Moore

    I think the concept is cool, but………and that’s a big butt with cottage cheese thighs……it’s only as good as the screws that hold the door closer on. Boom!

  • Gil Rosen

    I doubt very much that the door itself is strong enough. Any determined shooter could breech the door itself or the glass on the side of the door. The only real answer is to train the teachers properly and arm them.

    • Tyler

      Then their pay needs to be increased. School funding is declining yet we want teachers to take on more and more responsibilities with less and less resources.

    • AGillenh20

      Did you just say what if the teacher is a perv or lunatic…then in the same breath say we should arm teachers? I am the first one to defend the right to bear arms but you couldn’t just arm “any” teacher. I mean….what if they are a perv or lunatic.

  • MJ Moore

    Just because you are a teacher doesn’t mean you are capable of using a gun without harming the people you supposedly are protecting. Some people/teachers just don’t have what it takes. Can they aim correctly and fire under pressure? Arming a teacher should be the choice of the teacher first.

  • Joseph Bologna

    Good idea, BUT.. I think even just ONE armed guard along with a sign out front – BROADCASTING that the school is protected by armed personnel would work better and be less cost-effective. Just my 2 cents..

  • Christopher

    “He said it’s been ten months in the making, but they finally have it ready and waiting for patent.” So, not only did we waste 10 months designing a metal box, protecting our rights to the metal box is more important than protecting the children with the metal box. Next, should we protect them from the people involved in the project?

  • kim

    Just a thought. We could go back to keeping one parent at home to be there for our children. Actually teach our children right from wrong, morals, and values, holding parents accountable for their childrens actions untill they are of age. Not leave them in the wind for Hours after school to their own devices ( And when I say devices I mean uncensored internet, video games with extreme violence, weapons, etc.). After all, isnt that our job as parents? There is a lot of pressure out there on our kids today. We ALL know this is not the same world we grew up in. Kids are exposed to too much at inappropriate ages. To me, it only makes sense that if we leave our children alone to deal with these pressures/issues without our guidance, support and love, or leave our belief system to be taught taught by someone else, we are setting them up for failure when they are (young) adults.

    • Hmmm

      Oh, Jesus, Kim. Did you just land here in a time machine from the 1950’s? What if it takes two incomes to keep food on the table? What if —- wait for it —– what if there’s only one parent?????? GASP!

  • jon

    Just train amd arm the teachers, by choice you can’t force the teacher to carry, and offer an incentive like 10% salary increase, and they qualify with the local police department 2x a year. Problem solved

  • Mike Bender

    Nothing is going to work on 100% of the various applications but for those that it will work for it is perfect, it’s simple, it’s quick, and it can be installed from inside the room. Hats off to the inventors.

  • Jay Way

    This looks pretty expensive. We just keep the doors locked at all times, For regular handle doors we keep the lock open using a thin refrigerator type magnet on the door frame. Then you just open the door a few inches and grab it. Door secure. For double doors with the panic bar there is a snapping strap that keeps the bar in the open position. You just pull the strap and the doors lock. The magnets were paid for by the local police. Don’t know about the straps but can’t picture them being more than $20-30 per door.

  • Ron

    When i was in school we had steel doors that had locks , they would hold back the hulk if they needed to they were fireproof doors , what are they making school doors out of now paper ? , waste of money when the normal stuff works fine

  • Bobby

    Woman claims she invented something ? its called a lock or deadbolt work much better then this thing ,when there are only seconds what makes you think a teach will remember or can get to this toy to install it ? most schools have locked doors lock the class rooms also and it will be more effective then this toy

  • CommonSense

    This is ridiculously stupid. The shooter could shoot the hinges off the door and have access to the room in less than a minute.

  • Sapphire43

    TEACHER–I’m not sure what you are talking about? I don’t remember the story or video either one mentioning anyone leaving the room.

  • LR Mauser

    Sapphire – Teacher was responding to the comment that Jamie made about students locking the teacher out if the teacher left the room.

  • LR Mauser

    We just had a lockdown today. I felt like we were sitting ducks. Our room had a whole wall of low windows and we had nowhere to hide but behind student desks. Thankfully the police apprehended the suspect quickly.

  • kayla douberly

    What about the children and staff that are in the hallway at the time of emergency? If every teacher locks their door with this then those kids cant get in the room and away from harm either…

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