Students, Prompted by Massacre, Design Emergency Lock to Thwart Shooters

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deadstop lock

The killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in suburban Connecticut last December sent a chill across America. If the unthinkable happened there, it could happen anywhere. The concern prompted a team of high school students in Washington, D.C., to design an inexpensive and effective emergency door-locking mechanism to prevent active shooters from entering their classrooms.

Like many schools around the country, the doors at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School lack classroom-side locks, a building code regulation leftover from a time when fire was the biggest threat to student safety. Unlockable doors mean students can escape a burning classroom quickly. Yet in today’s world, students also worry about intruders coming into their classrooms and firing bullets.

“So many kids and adults were killed (at Sandy Hook). So we got together and we wanted to know how we could stop intruders from entering our school,” Deont√© Antrom, a junior at Benjamin Banneker, told NBC News.

Both Antrom and classmate Anjreyev Harvey, also a junior, have spent time working with younger kids in a nearby elementary school, so their reaction to the massacre was personal. “It is really troubling,” added Harvey. “It was mostly our connection to kids that drove us to come up with this project.”

“We decided to create something called a DeadStop,” said Antrom.