Minnesota Schools Implement Bullet-Resistant Products from SafeWood Designs

In the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, K–12 districts around the country are turning their attention once again to security measures that can protect students. Districts in Minnesota are reviewing products from SafeWood Designs, which manufactures bullet-resistant products—including doors, wall panels, hardware systems, furniture, and even whiteboards—for schools.

“Our number-one goal in designing these products was to keep our kids safe while they are at school, plain and simple,” said Jason Horner, CEO of SafeWood Designs, Inc. “And, at the same time, maintain the everyday look and feel kids are used to in their schools. We believe we have accomplished our goal.”

Some Minnesota schools are reviewing options like bullet-resistant dry erase boards and tack boards. “At the bottom of the shutter, there’s a pin that locks into the floor, and it becomes, effectively, a shield and a place to stand,” said SafeWood Designs’ Tim Ganser of the dry erase board.

“The whole idea of school protection is to protect the hallways with our wall panel and protect the classrooms with a bullet-resistant door to shutter,” Ganser said. “Our hope is that if they’re installed in a classroom, they’re using it as a tool for the classroom. If there’s one unfortunate time that something does happen, they have the protection they need.”

A press release notes that SafeWood uses a three-zone approach to enhance and maximize student protection. Threshold Zone 1 consists of the primary entrances; Threshold Zone 2 is the second line of protection should the entrances be breached; and Threshold Zone 3 should be “a safe space designed to withstand a constant and prolonged attack,” the release said.

“Being proactive is key,” said Horner. “We strongly encourage legislators to consider funding for bullet-resistant systems. If every classroom incorporated a bullet-resistant safe zone, it would not only offer protection when it’s most needed—but also offer additional, precious time for authorities to arrive.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com