Iowa Teachers’ Invention Could Save Lives in School Shooting Situation

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MUSCATINE, Iowa -- Some Iowa teachers have taken the protection of their students and themselves into their own hands thanks to a creative safety solution.

"The Sleeve" is a twelve gauge carbon steel case that slides over the door's closer arm, securing it from the inside.  It has been tested by engineers and is able to withstand over 550 foot-pounds of pressure.

The product was designed to keep an active shooter out of the classroom.

“We look at it as a cheap insurance policy. If you have someone out in the hallway, and you have an active situation, a dangerous situation unfolding and you do not want to go out into the hallway and lock your door, we want to provide you with a way to disarm that door,” says inventor Daniel Nitzel.

"The Sleeve" is still patent pending but Muscatine Community College has already said it will have one fitted in every classroom in Larson Hall and the library.

You can purchase "The Sleeve" here.

Learn more on this story from WQAD.


  • Daniel

    You would have to think about it like this could a first grader install this or how about think like a shooter if he wanted to shoot Someone the would shoot threw glass

    • David Kahmann

      In an active shooter situation or any other kind of lock-down, the class inside the room stays in the corner the farthest from the door. Even if the glass wasn’t bullet-resistant, the angle required to shoot through the glass to reach that vantage point is not physically possible. So as long as people aren’t stupid and stay where they’re supposed to be, everyone would be fine.

    • Sumai

      In that predicament you also stand to place victims in a single coffin which they can’t escape. Everybody is so focused on guns they’re not seeing what happens in most of the world with improvised explosives.
      At best it’s a time buying measure.

  • Nichole Lukenbill-Ortiz

    The fact that teachers and other adults responsible for our children are taking steps toward the inevitable idea that another school shooting IS going to happen is sad. It’s a SHAME that people are resigned to the fact that more stringent steps are even necessary because of the LACK of legislation in gun control. Before all you people say ‘we have our rights to our firearms…’ Don’t mistake what I mean. We should all have the ability to obtain firearms if we so choose…it just shouldn’t be so damn easy to get them, and there should be limitations in place to what is legal, and more strident laws should be implemented in required bullet purchasing, security and storage.

  • Bert

    To many needing to be in those rooms won’t get in . To big of a chance of the shooter using it to take everyone in a room out. Why not follow through with anti bullying. Punish the popular kids who do most of the bullying in the name of “was just joking around” Why not teach more social skills for those that need that help understanding there are jerks in the world that just don’t care “jocks”.

    • jward

      Are you kidding me right now?????? Anti bullying programs and laying blame on popular kids and athletes. Yes because those programs would have helped those kids in Connecticut from that mentally disturbed man.

      • Bert

        Yes I do think it would help. I am the parent of a bullied child from those types of kids. And yes mine has a disability. Thanks to the lack of teaching, programs and our government blame is put everywhere but where it should be put!
        Notice I am not calling for more gun control either just placing the blame where it should go. I can only think that since you are upset by my response you are of the parenting thoughts of my kid can do no wrong and I can be their friend not a parent..

      • Sue

        I don’t care what my kid says to yours, if your kid takes a gun to school and kills people, your kid is to blame, not the kids who weren’t nice enough to him! Teach your kid to ignore people who are saying mean things to him. If they cannot learn to ignore that, they are not equipped to be in society. If everyone has to be nice to one kid, or that kid is going to kill them all (and it be the other kids’ fault), that kid should not in the public school system!!! What is your kid going to do when they are an adult and someone says something that isn’t nice to him? I may sound like a b*tch, but, I am the parent of a ‘normal’ child. A ‘special’ child threatened to kill my child the other day. The teacher’s first response was to ignore the situation because the other kid was ‘special’. Then the special kid said that my kid, having a private conversation with a friend, was ‘aggravating’ him. So, my kid had to apologize. So….a ‘normal’ child can’t have a conversation, but, a ‘special’ kid can threaten to kill someone???

      • Mom of a "special" child

        @Sue – you are truly an idiot. I get the whole “hold the child and parents accountable in the event of a tragic shooting, beating, etc…” My heart goes out to everyone affected by such senseless tragedy. But now I’m going to go on another soapbox. “I don’t care what my kid says to yours. . . “. Would you care if your “normal” child bullied a “special” child to the point of that child taking his/her life? Who’s held accountable then? Do you think a student on the spectrum or a student with Downs should just be able to “ignore” being made fun of? Being teased for looking or acting different? I’m not talking about these students taking a gun and shooting up a school, but the whole concept of these kids diagnosed with something that they have no control over should just be able to “ignore” everything that bothers them is just ridiculous. What ever happened to parents teaching empathy and compassion in the home? Again, I get what you are saying about those kids that are more towards the seriously mentally disturbed/sociopath tendencies needing specialized treatment and schooling, but I ask that you be careful how you phrase your responses because the impression I got was that your “normal” child should be able to bully/be mean to anyone he/she wants to.

      • Sue

        Whoa ‘Mom’,
        My NORMAL child didn’t bully anyone. he was talking to a friend of his. For this, he was threatened with being shot! My son has a friend who has been threatened, repeatedly, with death, by a ‘special’ child. That child keeps telling our friend he is going to come to his house in the middle of the night and kill him with a knife. The school does NOTHING because these boys are ‘special’. They are afraid of the lawsuit from parents who want a free pass for their little psychopath! No, I’m sorry, you don’t get to threaten to kill people because you have social issues.
        I am not advocating bullying ANYONE!! As I told the principal when I was told my son got called in and had to apologize, if he was doing something wrong, by all means, he should be punished. He wasn’t doing anything wrong though. AND the ‘Special’ boy, didn’t get punished.
        I AM tired of the ‘free pass’ that is given to special needs children though. My children actually ARE very compassionate. that’s how my younger son ended up getting attacked and ended up with horrid facial scarring. He was attacked by the ‘special’ child in his class. he was the only one who would play with him. Turns out, that child has isues with people getting too close to him and gets violent if you invade his space. He had done it many times before, hence the reason the other kids were afraid of him. The school didn’t tell us he was special and had these issues, that would have violated his right to privacy. Apparently the other children had no right to safety!! My son was three. The other child was 6, but, had the mentality of about a 2 – 3 year old, which is why he was in a room with much smaller, younger, WEAKER, MORE VUNERABLE, children! He played fine with my son for 10-15 minutes, then my son got too close to him, in the course of normal interaction..the boy went NUTS and bit my son’s face repeatedly.
        Just because my kid isn’t diagnosed as ‘special’ he is still special to me and still has rights to NOT be attacked and NOT be killed!!!!! If not wanting to pick out at casket for my child when a ‘special’ child blows his brains out makes me an idiot, well so be it!
        I am sorry if your special needs child has been picked on. I do not think that is right. I would not condone that from anyone. I also think that society deserves to be protected from a violent young person just as much as they do from a violent adult, regardless of why they are violent.

      • Sue

        Whoa ‘Mom’
        I am not advocating bullying. My child did NOT bully the child he was threatened by. He was having a private conversation with another child. No one really knows what set the other child off. We do know that he has threatened to stab two other children earlier in the week . So, violence appears to be his answer to everything. The teacher was going to just ignore the death threats, UNTIL the special child complained that my son, talking to his friend, not the special child, was ‘aggravating’ him. So, my son had to apologize. The ‘special’ boy on the other hand, didn’t!
        We have friends with a 12 year old who has spent the entire school year being threatened, with death by having his throat cut in the middle of the night, by a ‘special’ child. Our friends have been to the school repeatedly. Their son is told to stay away from this other boy. Nothing is being done to the other boy. And it won’t until our friends son is dead.
        My younger son was attacked by an autistic child when he was 3. The ‘special’ child was 6, but, because he didn’t speak and was still in diapers, he was kept with much smaller, younger, weaker prey….I mean ‘children’. He had attacked other children several times (before we were at this particular day care center). He got violent if you got too close. My son, being compassionate, saw no one playing with this boy and tried to play with him. They played fine for 10-15 minutes. then, apparently, my son got too close to the other boy and his face was bitten, several times, before the teachers could separate them. He is permanently scarred. We couldn’t be told about this child’s ‘special needs’ because it would invade his right to privacy. The other children, being ‘normal’ and all, had no right to safety apparently.
        So, ‘Mom’, if not wanting to see my son go through painful plastic surgery to reduce the scarring left by a child who can’t handle society, or not wanting to pick out a child sized coffin when my son has his brains blown out by some kid who is ‘aggravated’ makes me an idiot, then so be it. I am the biggest idiot there is. Guess what, the parents of ‘normal’ children love them too!

      • Sue

        To ‘Mom’ –
        I guess it isn’t bullying when a ‘special’ child does it. otherwise, I would think telling someone you are going to shoot them would be bullying. Telling someone, over and over and over and over again over the course of a school year that you are going to sneak into their house and slit their throat while they sleep would be considered bullying.
        Different rules for different kids! THAT is what upsets me so!! MY CHILD HAS JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE SAFE AT SCHOOL AS YOURS DOES!!!!!!!!!

      • Mom of a "special" child

        Sue – first of all. . .slow your roll. I do believe I said I AGREED with you in regards to the violent tendencies of students, special or not (cause it’s not just the “special” ones with issues). What I was more concerned with was your sentence “I don’t care what my kid says to yours…” and then I asked you how you would feel if the polar opposite of violence happened and that child that your kid “said whatever” to went home and felt so desperate and alone and ostracized that they took their life. I’m asking you, who is accountable then? You never did answer that question. I didn’t say that your child bullied, but I inferred from your comments that children should be allowed to say whatever they please, because they are just words. Maybe I inferred wrong. Your comments were once again focused on the aggressive/violent kids and again, I agreed that schools need to be held accountable and staff need to be trained in regards to mental illness diagnosis, because everyone (including staff) have a right to feel safe. Not all diagnosed kids are violent. “Special” isn’t a word we use in the social work field and it’s not a word I use to describe my son. Compassion is an amazing trait to have, and I really hope you were serious when talking about teaching your child about compassion, but an even stronger trait is empathy. So again, please don’t go on a another rant about the violent kids, I get it, I agree, everyone deserves to feel safe when at school and parents deserve to feel that their child is being cared for and safe while away from home. My comments were towards that child that’s different than other kids, maybe diagnosed, maybe shy, maybe overweight, maybe not good at sports….. those kids, too, deserve to feel safe when at school. They deserve to walk through the halls without judgement and comments from other students. They deserve to feel worthy of walking this earth like everyone else. Insults, degrading comments, laughs, snickers, those aren’t just words that kids need to “learn to ignore” or not be allowed in public schools. And the suggestion that kids just need to ignore taunting from other kids is just ludicrous and I would hope you feel that way too. As for what your child suffered at daycare, I would have called the state ASAP and I’m sorry he went through that.

  • Lori McKinnon (@LoriInTexas)

    At my daughter’s elementary school, there are NO classroom doors. The only doors in the entire building are bathroom doors, and entrance/exit doors. The rest of the school, like almost every other elementary school in my city now, is totally open. I also question how this would work on doors with glass in them, such as the doors in our Senior Highs, which can easily be shot out.

  • Joey Hellyer

    Many people are pointing out the floor to ceiling window in the picture right next to the door, I’m going to kindly point out that its a double pane window reinforced with steel lining, yes it can be shot through, but no one is sticking their arm through it, the glass will break but the steel grating between the panes will prevent an arm or gun from going through. This invention is effectively removing the door completely, making it far more trouble than it’d worth in the extremely limited time an active shooter would have to make any assault that would get said shooter through the door.

  • Billi

    I think armed security guards in our schools would be way more effective at PREVENTING shooting incidents in the first place…or at least limiting the number of injuries.

    • Shellie

      Campuses are too large… by the time security got to my classroom it’d be too late… If a shooter knew that several teachers were carrying and trained marksmen (but didn’t know WHO)…???

  • I Care

    First of all………..hats off to this teacher who came up with this invention! But, what it the doors don’t have door closures on them? So, we need to think of another way to not allow an individual to get in a classroom who’s intentions are to harm people. That’s called a Columbine lock, named after the Columbine High School in Colorado that had the killings a few years ago! I work for a school district and our school district upgraded all its locks to this type of lock! If a lock down occurs at the school, the teacher can lock his or her door down with her room key from the inside but still operate the lock from the inside. If his or her class is in a hallway walking to the library or where ever and a lock down occurs, she can take her classroom kids in any room in the school and with her classroom key and lock that door down from the inside! It’s too bad and sad we live in a society that we have to go to such lengths and spend so many $$$$ to keep our kids safe in a school. We spend thousands and thousands of taxpayers dollars on keeping our kids safe, and every penny of it is worth it. In my opinion, it all starts at home! Parents need to discipline there children, teach them to respect another human being! Yes, this is a whole another subject we can go on and on. Seems to me the best profession to get into right now is law enforcement! Cause they seem to be very busy with all the arrests due to drugs, investigating shootings & murders, etc! Great job to this teacher for coming up with this idea to keep the classroom safe!

  • Vonkluck

    From my understanding and concerns, all doors in an education building must comply to code in which the door must swing outward. From the inside of the classroom, the “sleeve” would slide over the handle of the door and allowing to brace the door to not move any further outward towards the hallway. It is capable of withstanding 550psf, but… will the handle/knob of the door + door materiality be able to not tear away?

    • Kschobe

      Not defending any other possible shortcomings of the device, but specifically your concerns: modern doors typically do open out, leaving a solid jamb all the way around if trying to push inward, due to fire codes the jamb and frame are steel, and the door is solid ( usually filled with concrete) to allow a direct flame to not burn through for a predetermined amount of time in the 60’s this time was ~45min current codes are all in excess of 120min. Even a swat team with a spring ram won’t break that door in, they would have to use jaws of life, or go through the wall.

  • laura

    Sad that this will probably eventually be as common training as elementary First Aid for educators, but I suppose it’s better to face it and take measures to prevent it rather than ignore the seemingly growing likelihood of this event.

  • I Care

    After some thought regarding this invention. I’m wondering about the Iowa Code! I’m pretty sure the door has to be able to function from the inside of the room! Which means if this device is put on a door closure that door cannot be opened from the inside or outside without taking that devise off. Even during a lock down in a school, that door still has to be able to function from the inside. I still think its a great idea but I hope he checked with the city and state codes before he sunk a lot of time and money into this gadget! Still hats off to this teacher for taking the time and effort to think of this!

  • Lee

    Hopefully the shooter is to stupid to shoot through the glass and spray bullets through all the young bodies and teacher in that room. Come on clowns, Think before so graciously present your million dollar ideas. Your not living in a fairy tale world here.

  • Kevin Armstrong

    This product is a good idea however it violates the 101 Life Safety codes. Arrow Lock Co. manufactures the new Classroom Lever Lock which meets all 101 Life Safety codes and ADA approved.

    • Hardware and door man

      In addition to code violations (one operation to exit…what if there is a fire and the smoke is so high on the door and you can’t see it to remove it?).what if the teacher is 4′ 5″…or teacher stepped just outside of door and was caught in crossfire? What if the teacher and kids being held against their will, would hinder first responders from gaining access…on and on…sorry, all round not a good idea!

      Add inside thumbturn or cylinder to the inside of the door to the existing lock…replace the wire glass (not acceptable by code now) with laminated security film glass, better yet swing door panels that meet hurricane codes that secure the lite to the side of the door! Harden your exterior openings!

  • Reboyo

    Some of you guys are putting waaay too much thought in to this device. This is not meant to be a permanent fixture to the door. The current way of doing things as mentioned in the story, is when there’s an active shooter warning, the teachers are supposed to either lock the door from the outside of the classroom putting them potentially in harm’s way, or find some wire like an ethernet cable or belt, and tie it to the doorknob to hinder the attacker. All of you talking of this violating code, how is this device any different from the current policy of tying a cable to the doorknob? Sure, it wouldn’t be good in a fire, but why would you install it in a fire anyway? If the teacher’s too short to reach it, then there’s no violation anyway because they would need to reach it to install it.

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  • Sue

    Mom – Yes, I apologize. I didn’t mean for my comments to come through twice, It didn’t show up at first so I rekeyed it. I wasn’t trying to double the point. My comments were originally meant more for Bert as when you read his posts, he seems to be saying that if a kid gets violent, it is not his fault, it is the fault of the bully, if there is one.
    I do not agree with builying. I don’t know who you blame if a bullied child commits suicide. As a society, we do seem to need to blame someone. I can’t imagine that the bully intended for that child to kill themselves. I try to raise my kids not to be bullies, it’s all I can do. I can’t control how someone else is raising their child.
    There are always going to be jerks though. Even once you are an adult, you are going to encounter jerks. I think we need to try to teach our children to value themselves and those they care about more than the mean kid. I was a fat kid, who wore glasses and couldn’t do one chin up in PE. YES, I totally got bullied. But, you know, my Mom showed me that I had a loving family and a lot of friends. THEY were the ones that were important, not the loudmouth on the bus that felt big by making fun of me. We had pets that gave unconditional love as well. Yes, compassion and empathy are important. I like to think my children have them. in fact, my older son had defended the kid that threatened to kill him in the past. This is how he was repaid.
    Yes, I DID focus on the violent ones. Mainly because we have had such bad experiences with them and society seems to want to make US the bad guys. Yes, I probably should have gone to the state about the child at the daycare. I guess I didn’t even realize that was an option. I was very bullied by the daycare. They tried to make it out to be MY child’s fault. We just changed daycares and did the best we could to not have our son afraid to be around other kids. How do you explain something like autism (if that was this boys issue) to a 3 year old when doctors take years to diagnose it sometimes and they don’t fully understand it. So, yes, I am doing the best I can to raise my children. I want them to take responsibility for themselves. I would much rather have my child called fat though, then shot. Bullying is bad. ‘special’ children can be bullies too. Should we do the best we possibly can to allow ALL children to have a safe, positive experience in school? Of course. But, if a ‘special’ child can’t be there (because they are going to try to eat another child’s face if they stand too close) then they need to not be there., exactly as you would remove a violent ‘normal’ child from the school. As the mother of 2 ‘normal’ children (I’m sorry, I don’t mean any offense, I don’t know how else to say it) who is on the receiving end of a lot of bullying from ‘special’ children, I am upset. I am upset because my normal child would have been expelled, or at least suspended, if he had done the things that he is expected to put up with. It sounds like we both love our children very much. Obviously a lot of our feelings and reactions are formed by our experiences, which have been very different. I think we both want our children to feel safe and valued, at home and away.
    In our school district, it almost seems as if the ‘special’ children have no rules and the ‘normal’ children have no rights. I have tried to talk to the school board, and the administrative staff. Even if I stay calm and do it rationally, I look like a bully because I don’t want the ‘special’ kids there. No, I don’t want the PSYCHOTIC kids there. I don’t agree that ‘normal’ kids are also violent though. If you take a shotgun to school and kill your classmates, you may not have been diagnosed with anything, but, you aren’t wired right. Normal people do not do that.
    Best of luck to you and your family. Again, my apologies for offending.

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