Security is top of mind for schools across the Tennessee valley and in Bradley County, one elementary school is taking extra steps to prepare for potential threats. Prospect Elementary School is hoping to be the first school in the area to install protective laminate on their windows and provide classrooms with doorstops to stop or slow down intruders.
School Resource Officer John Davis said the doorstops are small metal devices that can make a big difference during threatening situations.
"It allows that teacher seconds to prepare themselves and their class for a possible intruder,” Davis said.
With the device on, the door only opens wide enough to let a card in and keep an intruder out.
After the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. The Bradley County Sheriff at the time called Prospect Principal Steve Montgomery to see if his school was prepared for a similar situation.
"He asked me what my safety plan was and of course I knew we had one, he said no I wanna know your safety plan? And the phone call just made me think deeper about the process of safety at school,” Montgomery said.
Over the last four years, the staff formed a safety committee and raised more than $80,000 to install new security measures. However, they're not done quite yet. Prospect wants to add security film on exterior windows, it keeps glass intact even if a bullet hits it.
Officer Davis said it might have stopped or slowed the attacker at Sandy Hook.
"He was allowed access to the school, the door was locked but the window was shattered by one bullet shot and this will allow that to not happen,” Davis said.
The school plans to raise enough to put a doorstop in every classroom and install window laminate on exterior windows. School officials say it's worth every penny.
"We need to think in the future not just right now but in the future and I want this to be the safest place and school around,” Montgomery said.
The school hopes to install these new safety devices by the upcoming school year.