Central Montcalm approves funding for ‘Boot’ lockdown devices

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SHERIDAN, Mich. -- With dozens of school shootings in the U.S. already this year, student safety is on the minds of a lot of parents and administrators.  At Central Montcalm Public Schools, they're turning their concerns into action.

Two devices made to quickly lock down classrooms and alert people during active shooter situations were presented to the district Monday at a board meeting.

One was the Boot, a physical device that reinforces a door and prevents a shooter form getting into the classroom.  It's a piece of steel that reinforces the door.  It works by sliding into two holes that are drilled into the floor, securing the door.

"It will withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure, so when a teacher or a student drops that boot into the floor there's nobody getting into that room," said Rob Couturier, inventor of the Boot.

The other device was The Smart Boot, which alerts 911 and brings police quickly to the scene.  It has LED lights that flash red for lock down or green for All Clear.

Parents and teachers wanting more safety and security are pushing hard for Boot protection.

"As a kindergarten teacher, when we call a lockdown drill, I have to barricade high and deep. So my students do their job and I move furniture in front of the doorway as high and deep as I can get it. " said Central Montcalm teacher Shannon Bowen. "With the Boot, I can engage [it], and then I can go tend to my kindergartners."

The school board approved funding Monday to cover $400,000 for the Smart Boot and $45,000 to put a Boot in all rooms of the district.  The physical steel devices will be installed at every door in the district by the end of the summer.  The Smart Boot won't be ready for another six to nine months.

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