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Oklahoma school district installs bulletproof shelters in elementary school classrooms

A school district in Oklahoma has installed bulletproof shelters in several elementary school classrooms following a Florida school shooting.

Healdton School District installed the shelters, reportedly the first of its kind in the country, in seven elementary school classrooms and two middle school classrooms, according to Oklahoma’s KOCO News5.

Superintendent Terry Shaw said it was “relaxing” to know that students have a safe place to go in their schools. The chambers, made by company Shelter-In-Place, hold up to 35 students and two teachers.

“When tornadoes strike, and Lord help us, when you have an intruder on campus, to know that you have somewhere to go quickly for the safety of your students, it’s very relaxing,” Shaw said.

Shaw said he felt “comfortable” testing the shelters by going inside one while representatives from Shelter-In-Place shot at it.


“I did not feel comfortable putting these in my buildings if I wasn’t willing to do it myself,” he said. “So I offered to go inside. It was very surreal, but I felt very comfortable. Very safe.”

In the weeks following the school shooting in Florida, lawmakers have discussed different approaches to improving school safety and preparation for active-shooter situations.

President Trump has repeatedly called for training and arming teachers, a proposal that has been met with strong backlash from the education community, as well as from lawmakers from both parties. Lawmakers have also proposed increased school security, including expanding the presence of on-campus armed security officers and metal detectors.

“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, that could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said during a meeting with survivors of the Florida shooting. “We’re going to be looking at that very strongly. And I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it.”

District officials said Healdton, a small town near the Texas border, has been the target of at least one “copycat” threat after the Florida shooting.

“You think those things are never, ever gonna happen in your school, but, unfortunately, they do,” Melissa Hudson, president of the Healdton parent-teacher organization, told News 5. “Some are caused by weather, and some are caused by man.”

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