With heightened awareness of the possibility of shootings, local schools are always looking for ways to keep students safe.
Kevin Guinn, owner and inventor behind the 616 Speed Screen, has a solution, which he presented to Claremore Superintendent Bryan Frazier and Justus-Tiawah Superintendent Ed Crum Wednesday.
The Speed Screen, patent pending, can be custom fitted to any size window. It rolls up above the window, allowing teachers to see in and out of the classroom doors at most times. And in an emergency, it can be snapped down and magnetized to the window in less than a second, freeing up the teacher’s valuable time to lock the door, turn off the lights and calmly instruct students on how to stay safe.
Sheriff Scott Walton, who also attended the demonstration, complimented the simplicity of the design.
“When the pucker factor is up, the break down that adrenaline does to a human being, the motor skills, the tunnel vision, everything that works against you,” Walton said.
“If you can thumb lock a door and push that screen down, that’s what you can do,” Frazier said, finishing the thought.
Each screen has a nearly undetectable peephole for teachers to see who is knocking on the door.
The screen is customizable as well, with room for door numbers, school logos, sponsorship logos and emergency procedures to remind teachers or students in an emergency situation how to respond.
The door number is included on both sides to help both students and first responders know where they are located.
“One of the things we struggle with is you need to have a cover, but you don’t want the teachers to cover their windows when they are teaching,” Frazier said. “There needs to be a way to deploy something at a certain time, but not all the time.”
Unlike movable posters and Velcro window covering, the spring steel and weatherproof signage are designed to last.
“You can operate this thing thousands of times, and it’s going to be the same every time,” Guinn said.
Guinn got into the school protection business only recently, when he invented the screen for the school his children attend in northwest Arkansas.
Two schools in Arkansas have committed to using this product so far, though it is not yet installed in any school district. While neither Rogers County school committed to purchasing, both superintendents said it is under consideration.
“This year we are getting ready to a roll out a safety initiative that encompasses multiple things,” Frazier said.
Products like Speed Screen fit into that initiative, and the district’s third goal, “to provide a safe environment for all students.”
“Kids can’t learn if they don’t feel safe. That is the bottom line,” Frazier said.
“Parents entrust their children to us at school every day, so student safety is absolutely important,” Crum said. “We are always trying to find ways to improve student safety.”