Moms push on social media for door safety devices in Wake County schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - A group of Wake County parents is taking school safety into their own hands. Two moms started a Facebook group to share their plan to secure their kids' classrooms. Within a ouple of days they had nearly a thousand parents behind them.

The latest deadly school shooting in Florida has left parents like Nancy Haywood terrified afor the safety of children at school.

"Every single day," said Haywood, referring to the anxiety she feels when her kids head to school in the morning. "Yesterday on all the mom chat groups there were threats being called into schools all over Wake County."

Haywood has two children in the Wake County school district. She says she grew tired of worrying, so, she decided to take action instead.

"We kept seeing on social media that somebody had to do something, and we just decided that we'd be that somebody," said Haywood.

Haywood and fellow mother Jessica Gutierrez created a Facebook page to share their plan to secure classrooms. They're asking parents to cover the cost of the classroom safety device.

"We've already reached over 900 parents, who are saying they are willing to help fund this product," Haywood said. "We've calculated the cost to be approximately one dollar per student in our school system."

The mothers say some classrooms in Wake County require teachers to open up their classroom doors, step out into the hallway and lock their classroom doors from the outside.

They worry that could put students and teachers at risk if there is an emergency, which is why they'd like to see the School Safe device installed in every classroom in the district.

School Safe is an anti-latch device; not a lock. It prevents the door from latching, by keeping it slightly open. So, teachers can lock their door in the morning when they come in, but the door won't actually lock unless teachers flip a lever on the device. If the lever is flipped the door locks automatically so teachers don't have to enter the hall, or fumble for a key.

"If we can shave a few seconds off their response time to have those classroom doors shut, lock, secure that's what we wanna do," said Gutierrez, who also founded the group with Wake County moms MaryBeth Duprey, Jenn Smith and Jenn Kearns.

The parents say they have reached out to the school district multiple times, but have not heard back.

CBS North Carolina reached out to Wake County schools and they sent us a statement, it reads:

Our emergency plans include methods for keeping children safe inside the classroom. We cannot share specifics regarding how doors are secured because doing so would compromise the safety of our students. If parents have questions about their child's classroom, they should speak with their child's teacher.

"We want our kids safe and I think that's unanimous," Gutierrez said. "I don't think there's anybody who doesn't want that."

The parents say if they don't hear back from the school district, they plan on speaking at the next school board meeting.


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