A school district in Massachusetts thinks it has found one solution to the problem of school shootings: equip every schoolroom with a 5-gallon blue bucket containing a wooden doorstop, a 1-pound hammer, a 50-foot length of rope and a roll of duct tape.
The Brockton, Massachusetts mayor’s office worked over the summer with the Lowe’s location at the Westgate Mall to assemble over 1,080 buckets this summer that will equip district classrooms this fall, according to Deputy Superintendent Mike Thomas. Thomas stated, “If something bad happens, you have to think quickly on your feet. Teachers can’t be running around the room looking for cords, or looking for something to smash a window. Now they know exactly where everything is.”
Mayor Bill Carpenter echoed, “It is without a doubt that these coordinated efforts will assist in the efforts to strengthen existing safety initiatives and ensure Brockton Public Schools continues to be a safe learning environment.”
Lowe’s store manager Chad Gaucher added, “There’s no better way to give back than to the kids of the future.” Lowe’s offered the buckets at a wholesale price, roughly $11 each.
Thomas told WCVB 5, “You can actually put the wedge under the door, bang it underneath … it just provides for an extra barrier for the door, and it's harder to open the door. … The way we train our teachers, if there is an intruder in the building it is either hide, run, or fight. You could actually break the window if you are on the first floor, get all the kids out that way.” He added that the rope could be used to help secure the door.
The tape could be used to prevent smoke from seeping into the classroom.
Thomas concluded, “When I started in education 26 years ago, it was the last thing you thought about; now, it is the first thing you have to think about.”
Teachers will be trained in the various uses of the items; following that, students will be drilled on how and when to use the items.
Brockton superintendent Kathy Smith stated, “When you study what has happened in places like Parkland, one of the things teachers talked about was having a wedge. As gunmen came down the hallway, she was able to secure her door.”