As frightening as they are, and as much as we hate to think about them, school shootings are an unfortunate reality in this day and age. Of course, we all want our students, teachers, and administrators to be as prepared as possible if the unthinkable were ever to occur — and for many schools, that means rehearsing regular lockdown drills and putting other new safety rules into place. But one caring aunt in Connecticut wanted to be sure her nieces had as many safety precautions available as possible, which is why she gave them a creative tool to keep in their backpacks to use in the event of an emergency — and now, her idea is starting to catch on.
Following a tragic school shooting in her state, Katie Cornelis came up with the idea of giving each of her nieces a small doorstop to keep in their backpacks to help them barricade the doors of their classrooms if an intruder ever entered their school. She posted about her idea on Facebook.
"After the Sandy Hook shooting, I gave both my nieces this little door stop to always keep in their backpacks. It truly pained me when I handed it to them, and I didn’t want to scare them, but it was out of love and they understood."
When it comes to mass shootings, every second counts, and Cornelis' hope was that if the door stops could buy her nieces and their classmates even a few moments of extra time, lives might be saved.
"Sure, it’s small, but it can be powerful in keeping you safe if you ever have to barricade yourself in a room," Cornelis wrote. "A security expert shared this tip with me so I wanted to pass it on. I pray no one ever has to use it."
Many people agree with Cornelis: Her post has been shared more than a million times since she posted it last month, and people have been quick to applaud her proactive thinking — especially in a time when parents are desperate to keep their kids safe but aren't sure what they can actually do to help.
"Great share. Would have never thought of that," on Facebook user commented. "I hope some people with positions to make it happen in schools, superintendents, PTAs, etc., see this and invest in the $2 per, or less probably when bought in bulk, and put one or two in each classroom throughout schools in every state."
"It would be awesome if some people would even donate some of these to their local schools," another commenter added. "That way every teacher can have one on hand. I'm thinking about maybe getting some and donating them to a few schools in the area."
It's hard to guarantee that a door stop would help during a school shooting, but it is a simple and thoughtful way to help kids feel safer and more empowered in a scary situation. In these times of unrest and unease, keeping our children safe should be our No. 1 priority, and if a $2 door stop can help save lives or even just help students feel a little more comfortable at school, we're all for it.