MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WTVF) — All first grade students at New Union Elementary School in Manchester raised money to install new locks that would better secure classrooms in case an intruder walks in.
The fundraiser was part of an annual community service project for each grade. The students wanted a safety project that would benefit the entire school.
Forty-eight first grade students raised more than $3,000 in two weeks that would improve safety for the entire school. Businesses also donated money.
There was enough money collected to install two types of door jams to lock down 33 classroom doors.
The lock screws, supplied by the company Nightlock, will bolt the schools’ two different types of doors, one that opens outwards and one that opens inwards. Fire doors are not included.
It will make it more difficult for the culprit to get into the classroom, adding an extra layer of security.
"If it takes somebody a lot of extra time to break the door, that's more time our students and teachers can get to safety and our law enforcement can intercept, Principal Jill Potts told NewsChannel 5.
Potts said the school has already taken other security measures, including surveillance to let people in the front door and a student resource officer and his K-9.
The officer reviewed the school’s protocol and safety plans.
First grade teacher Nikki Alonso helped come up with the idea to install the door jams and got it approved.
"I love my students just like I love my own children and even when they're not in my classroom. I still worry about them they're always a part of you so I want to make sure they're always safe," Alonso said.
Alonso said her students were excited to participate. Although they may not completely understand what an intruder incident can entail, she said the kids are aware of the importance.
The new locks will arrive by the end of the school year and will be installed over the summer. Teachers will have to undergo training.