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Bearacade Aimed at Securing Classrooms

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Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Sign of the times
Elizabeth M   6/23/2014 5:58:24 AM
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When I considered writing this article it made me feel a bit nervous to even have to cover something like this. It's a scary sign of the times that people are developing inventions to protect children and teachers from shooters. It seems a shame they should have to, and that more can't be done to prevent these scenarios from even occurring. No matter, it's good that people are thinking of new ways to protect people when they do, even if it shouldn't be necessary. I think this sounds like a good start to trying to block off doors in classrooms quickly, but there is more that can be done to prevent these shootings themselves.

tekochip
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Re: Sign of the times
tekochip   6/23/2014 9:16:10 AM
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Elizabeth, I feel the same way and I'm really at a loss for words when I see technology applied to such a horible social problem.  I've always felt that the best solution is one that addresses the cause rather than the effect.

ttemple
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Re: Sign of the times
ttemple   6/23/2014 9:33:11 AM
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tek,

Out of curiosity, what would you say the cause is?

 

And if I were designing this, I wouldn't mess around with plastic.  What is wrong with steel for this design?

 

tekochip
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Re: Sign of the times
tekochip   6/23/2014 10:20:24 AM
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I won't wax political on an Engineering website, but a barricade is truly addressing the symptom of a greater ill.


Bearacade
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Iron
Inventor Follow Up
Bearacade   6/23/2014 1:09:42 PM
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Just a few follow up points.

Coming from NE Ohio, our original path followed both steel and aluminum extruding.  The steel piece at this size was too weighty during our prototyping testing with many teachers, did not slide rapidly into place, and was not nearly as quiet as it needs to be.  The aluminum extruding was a challenge due to the wide range of thicknesses needed to both slide under a door, yet be thick enough to prevent both inward and outward swinging operation.

The impact modified polycarbonate survived all of the testing requirements we placed on the device.  Lightweight, but strong.  It also survived ballistic testing, impact testing, and continuous pressure testing.

Coming from a school administration background, it was never my intent to say this is a magic solution.  Safety is a multi-layered process in any public setting.  We work with mental health professionals, anonymous tip lines, open communications, threat assessment teams, and more.

This device was designed for those (hopefully) rare moments when seconds count.  Even if law enforcement is on the scene in 5 minutes, my teachers are the first responders to care for their students.  We wanted something that could be deployed in seconds, withstand more than 4,000 pounds of force, alert administration, and still allow for accelerated egress when that time comes.

No perfect solution and a rather sobering topic to address.

Bill Cushwa

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Inventor Follow Up
Cabe Atwell   6/24/2014 12:10:47 AM
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Interesting, combine that with Muscatine Middle School's 'The Sleeve' and a bullet-proof backpack and blanket and our kids should be safe and secure. Why not just use telepresence robots or keep the kids at home and attend 'virtual school' instead? Schools are starting to look awfully similar to prisons nowadays but I guess you can't be too careful when it comes to your child's safety. What a sad state of affairs.

fdos
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Iron
Re: Inventor Follow Up
fdos   6/24/2014 2:12:26 AM
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@Cabe: Very true you have a good point on it but we have to consider the safety of the children 1st isn't it ?

a2
User Rank
Gold
Re: Inventor Follow Up
a2   6/24/2014 3:15:55 AM
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@fdos: Exactly, safety measures do come 1st. Right now with no other option being available and safety cannot be overlooked, we have top bare it

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Sign of the times
Elizabeth M   6/24/2014 7:02:31 AM
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I couldn't agree with you more, tekochip.

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Inventor Follow Up
Elizabeth M   6/24/2014 7:05:55 AM
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Cabe, you've really described the problem quite eloquently. I also think it's sad that there is a need for these type of products to be developed. I can see that school administrators and entrepreneurs are trying to tackle the problem and threat as it exists. I'm sure they also are trying to take measures to mitigate the problem itself and stop these things from happening in the first place. But in the meantime, there is an immediate and present threat, and these products are trying to address it. It's a shame they need to exist.

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