A new device created by Iowa middle school teacher Daniel Nietzel may help protect against school shootings in the future.
Called "The Sleeve", the product is simply a v-shaped sleeve made from a Rubbermaid container. The sleeve quickly slips over the metal arm that is typically found above school doors. Fitted correctly, the product can withstand 600 pounds of force while still keeping the door closed, reports Eric Owens for KWQC.
The sleeve was designed for quick and easy application, even on unlocked doors, which means substitute teachers and aides can use them as well. No modifications or installation is necessary.
Each sleeve comes with the capability to be magnetically stored to a door frame for easy storage.
The product also keeps teachers safe by keeping them in the classroom. It can be taken off just as fast it is put on, allowing for a quick and easy evacuation if one becomes necessary.
"I found the top of a Rubbermaid container and measured out geometrically the shape I needed and cut out five pieces," Nietzel told KWQC. "Then I got out the hot glue gun and on my work shop table in the basement, hot glued it, and let it dry."
Nietzel is taking some time off from teaching to focus on building his own company, Fighting Chance Solutions, and in only a few weeks has sold his product in 22 states so far. Businesses, military units, and hospitals are also buying the sleeve.
The company is even starting to receive phone calls for orders from foreign countries.
The company sells each custom-fit sleeve for $65. Each sleeve is made from 12-gauge carbon steel but is lightweight for easy application, and comes in "safety red". Each sleeve is Finite Element Analysis tested by Carver Pump engineers in order to optimize performance. The website offers video instructions on how to measure your door for each sleeve ordered.
Neitzel is working hard to keep the production done locally. Iowa company Fabricators Plus is currently producing 6,000 sleeves a week.
A prototype is in the works for a related product that will work on doors that do not have the v-shaped metal arm.
This past April 20 marked the 15-year anniversary of the deadly school shootings in Columbine, Colorado, where two student gunmen killed 12 of their classmates and wounded 20 more before committing suicide.
The incident started a gruesome trend of mass school shootings in which the killer(s) was either a student or someone with direct ties to the school. In 2001, two California students were killed and 13 more wounded by a 15-year-old classmate.
Six years after that, the nightmare spread to a college campus, where Seung-Hui Cho murdered 30 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before killing himself. Another campus shooting, this time at Northern Illinois, sees five killed and 16 wounded less than a year later.
Despite these tragedies, the public was still unprepared for the events of December 14, 2012, when a mentally unbalanced gunman murdered his own mother, then went Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 26 people, 20 of them first-graders.