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Iowa teachers tired of shootings invent ‘The Sleeve’ to keep out class intruders

- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teachers for one small-town Iowa community grew alarmed enough by the spate of school shootings that have rocked the nation in recent times that they have created a new device — aimed at locking out the shooter — a 12-gauge carbon steel case called "The Sleeve."

The device fits around a door's arm and secures it against unauthorized entry, WQAD 8 News reported. Specifically, it keeps teachers from having to go out in the hallway to lock the door. And it can withstand 550 foot-pounds of force or more, one its creators said.

Daniel Nietzel, one of the brains behind the invention and a teacher at West Middle School in Muscatine, said he first sparked on the idea after taking part in the facility's course on how to respond to an active shooter situation.

"We were instructed to tie a belt or a cord around the closer arm," he said, WQAD 8 reported. "It seemed like a logical way to secure a door without having to go into the hallway, [but] it took us a long time to get a cord, stand on a chair and tie a knot, which could potentially be the most important tie of your life."

Moreover, the ties didn't work, he said.

"In our training, all five rooms that the teachers were trained in, the doors were breached, the cords were ripped, and the officer who was portraying the active shooter came in and killed all of us," Mr. Nietzel said in the local report.

So he and several of his professional colleagues formed the company, Fighting Chance Solutions, and drew up some blueprints for The Sleeve.

Ten months later, they have a patent pending.

"We look at it as a cheap insurance policy," he said, WQAD 8 reported. "If you have someone out in the hallway, and you have an active situation, a dangerous situation unfolding and [don't] want to go out into the hallway and lock your door, we want to provide you with a way to close that door."

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