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Iowa Invention Could Save Lives During School Shootings

June 12, 2014, 10:22 AM

Iowa Invention Could Save Lives During School Shootings
MUSCATINE, IA -

It’s a simple metal piece that can save lives during an active shooter setting. All you do is slip it on the door closer and it can resist up to 550 pounds of force. Tiffany Liou from our Davenport, IA sister station, KWQC, has the report.

Daniel Nietzel is a teacher in Muscatine and President of Fighting Chance Solutions. He says this is safety in schools is personal. “I tried to put my son in that classroom, what would I want on that door?”

He says the slam of a locker makes him worry it could be a shooter, “We live in a society now where there is potential for you to be in the middle of a lesson and someone coming into your school with a gun to kill innocent children.”

Nietzel wanted to take it into his own hands and came up with “The Sleeve”. He and four other educators in Muscatine started the company, Fighting Chance Solutions.

Edwin Colon, a counselor in the Muscatine School District, is also the Vice President of Production at Fight Chance Solutions. He says each school shooting he hears about is painful.

“It really hits me," Colon said. "You never want to deal with that and you can’t say that it will never happen here. The reality of the situation is that it can.”

Right now, most classroom doors only lock from the outside. During the Sandy Hook Shooting, a teacher was shot when she stepped into the hallway to lock the door.

“She wasn’t even involved in the main incident in the kindergarten classroom," Nietzel said. "She was out of that, but she was still shot.”

This new invention works to prevent that. It quickly slips on to keep the shooter out, and comes off in one second for evacuation.

“The product works. The science is there. Our engineers did all the testing," Colon said.

To top it all, they have made it affordable for teachers to put in their classrooms. It’s priced at $65, so it’s cost-efficient even if school districts won’t fund it.

“We have the potential to save lives," Nietzel said. "To me, there is nothing more noble than to save lives in the profession that we chose to go into – something very near and dear to our heart.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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