Wake County mom urges school board to install door locking systems to improve school security

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wake County mother spent Tuesday urging the Wake County Board of Education to buy and install new door locking systems at all of its schools.

"I've done my research on the best solutions for door locking systems, and I want to recommend the board look into RhinoWare Lockdown Systems from Campus Safety Solutions," Kimberly Pope said.

Pope, a mother of two sons in elementary school, said the barrier, once it's locked in place, will buy precious time for law enforcement to be able to help.

"And that's what is really important to me because time is going to be a factor, in case something like what happened in Texas happens here," Pope said.

Pope is one of 500 people in support of safer schools, including adding school resource officers to all schools and door locks to all classrooms, according to a change.org petition.

Campus Safety Products pitched its RhinoWare device to Broward County school officials in 2018 after the Parkland school shooting.

The device, which attaches to the door and locks from the inside, has come a long way from when it was invented in 2014. It now has more steel to make it stronger and is in higher demand than ever because mass shootings have continued to happen in American schools, worship houses and other facilities.

"The response (many years ago) was it'll never happen here," CEO Ed Johnson said. "People don't say that anymore."

In North Carolina, Iredell-Statesville Schools said it has the system installed in every school.

"Our staff members and students complete training annually on when and how to activate the system," the district said. "Our schools also utilize the RhinoWare systems when we conduct our safety drills."

WCPSS said the board has taken proactive measures to support and enhance safety measures by authorizing an independent security assessment of every school and all the administrative facilities.

While the board said it is making a lot of upgrades to school security, WCPSS has not said which specific vendors are involved.

However, with the RhinoWare system also in East Wake Academy, Pope hopes the Wake County Public School System can follow suit.

"This is something we should all be able to agree on," Pope said. "Protecting our children and teachers should be a priority for everyone, and this can be put in place now while we all work towards solving the bigger problems down the road."
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