In Healdton, Oklahoma, parents and school officials agreed it is time to take preemptive action to protect students from a gunman.
In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, many schools are considering how they can better protect students. For one school district in Healdton, Oklahoma, that means installing seven bulletproof shelters inside classrooms in the town's elementary schools and two larger ones in their middle school, according to BC's Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO. These are the first of their kind to be installed in a U.S. school.
The next step in the game plan is to bring the shelters to the town's high school. "When tornadoes strike, and Lord help us, when you have an intruder on campus, to know that you have somewhere to go quickly for the safety of your students, it's very relaxing," superintendent Terry Shaw told KOCO.
And Melissa Hudson, mother and president of the district's parent-teacher organization, agrees that it was a wise move, noting, "You think those things are never, ever gonna happen in your school, but, unfortunately, they do. Some are caused by weather, and some are caused by man."
The shelters, built by a company called Shelter-in-Place, can each hold 35 students and two teachers. Students enter first, and then a teacher enters last, shutting the door behind them.
KOCO reports that there are only about 3,000 residents in Healdton, which is the same number of students who attended Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Nonetheless, as heartbreaking as it may be to hear that a school district—and perhaps many more to follow—is taking this action, anything that offers parents peace of mind is well worth it.