MENTOR, Ohio — There have been dozens of shootings on school or college campuses in 24 states since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
Now, two local businessmen have created a new safety device in hopes of preventing school shootings.
It’s called the Bearacade, and the idea is to prevent a gunman from getting into a room filled with students.
The creators worked with school administrators and law enforcement to design the lock down system, something that would work quickly when time is vital.
“When the Chardon High School shootings happened, I started to sketch out a device that would work in a classroom setting very quickly because even if police and safety forces are here very quickly there is still gonna be a critical several minutes of time that teacher is really our first responder,” said co-founder Bill Cushwa.
Mentor schools gave a demonstration on how the Bearacade works. It’s a lock down door system, in which a teacher can easily slip a lightweight device under the door, then a pin is inserted to lock it in place.
“Safety is a process, we think this is a critical part of the process but it is not the solution so I believe the Bearacade is a great part of an entire protocol in safety,” said Cushwa.
The Bearacade can withstand 4,000 pounds of external force plus there’s also a reflective marking on the outer part of the unit, to let people know something is wrong.
“Nothing is as crucial as our job to keep students and staff safe, students must feel safe and comfortable in our school environment in order to learn,” said Matt Miller, Superintendent of Mentor Schools.
Mentor Public Schools have purchased 500 Bearacades, and they’ll be installed throughout the district this coming school year.