HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - The Hancock County School District is taking a new step to keep students, staff and administrators safe and it all has to do with the doors in every classroom.
All the districts plan to add "The Boot." It is a strong piece of steel used to keep danger out of a classroom during a lock down situation.
The Hancock County Sheriff's Office and schools across the county are teaming up to add the device. It is already used in school districts across Michigan.
"There's actually a strap that will go here and this will go into that strap, and these two pieces right here will go into the floor and that will secure that door," said Crime Prevention Officer Beth Baker.
Teachers and students will be trained on how to use the simple to use device. Baker and Sheriff Michael Heldman say the boot can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure, but if necessary, school personnel and police can get in.
The boot has also been approved by the Ohio Fire Marshall and meets all of the state's fire codes.
"I truly believe this is one of the best pieces of material like this that's on the market. And it will definitely do the job," said Sheriff Heldman.
Findlay City Schools is one of the districts involved. Assistant Superintendent Troy Roth says safety is their number one priority, so they're excited to be a part of this joint effort.
"I think parents and taxpayers want to know that when they send their student to school that we're going to do everything we can to keep them safe. And it is a sign of the times that we need to keep our schools safer and this is another example of how we can do that," said Roth.
A community meeting on the boot will be held Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Findlay High School Auditorium.
The Sheriff's Office and districts will raise money to cover the roughly $419,000 price tag. If you'd like to donate, click here.
If fundraising goes as planned, the sheriff hopes to have the boots installed by the end of the school year.