PARMA, Ohio — Parma City Schools have now taken extra steps to protect against a school building intruder, or an active shooter situation, installing a new classroom barricade system in 15 of its buildings district wide.
Parma Superintendent Charlie Smialek showed News 5 the easy to use Nightlocks Barricade System, a small wedge of aluminum that can now be quickly locked into place at the bottom of hundreds of classroom and office doors.
Smialek explained that the system, which cost the district $43,000, can withstand up to 2,000 pounds of outside force from an intruder, and 1,600 pounds of inside force.
“In the year 2019, we have to be prepared as possible, and this was a great step for us,” Smialek said. “We know that the shooter in Dayton got 41 shots off in 30 seconds, even if we can buy ourselves 30 seconds so law enforcement can come, any type of deterrent is an advantage for us at that point. It reinforced that this could happen anywhere, this can happen in our backyard, we have to be prepared as we possibly can.”
Parma CEO William Greene said research on the Nightlocks system was collected from safety officials in Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills.
“We took it to law enforcement officials, each police chief was in here, we took it to the local fire departments from all three cities," Greene said. “One thing that won all three cities over was the ability to have on their police cruiser and their fire trucks the ability to unlock a door from the outside."
The Parma Schools are also planning a series of safety days throughout the upcoming school year, with students and staff practicing with the new barricade system and building evacuation.