A recent survey conducted with school teachers indicates that nearly half are contemplating transferring schools or quitting altogether due to their concerns about safety. The time to invest in better safety and security measures for schools is now. As the Quitman School District in Arkansas can attest, installing and utilizing National Safety Shelters‘ safety pods has made a positive impact on the peace of mind of parents and educators and has been the catalyst for driving more revenue and enrollment.
The Quitman school board made the decision to install National Safety Shelters’ safety pods in every classroom in 2018. Superintendents and school board members from other districts who have since personally toured the Quitman campus emphatically remarked that the safety pods are the best safety feature that a school district could invest in to protect their students and staff.
Dennis Truxler, Superintendent at the Quitman School District, credits the security the safety pods provide ― and the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are there ― as part of the reason for the district’s 20% increase in student enrollment. Most of the new students have matriculated in from neighboring districts. Significantly, revenue from the increase in student enrollment has more than covered the cost of purchasing and installing the safety pods.
That revenue gain is driven in part by the safety pods having no operating or maintenance costs. Once a safety pod is installed, it is always ready for use, requires no maintenance, and will function optimally for years to come. The cost of a safety pod project over a 14-year enrollment period averages out to around $7 per month per student.
Truxler describes parents’ reaction to the shelters as “overwhelmingly positive” and reiterates his gratitude for, and belief in, the investment. “I spent a lot of time researching and reading articles concerning school safety and nothing compares to our shelters. I am 100% satisfied with the security that the safety pods produced by National Safety Shelters provide to our students and staff.”
The safety pods from National Safety Shelters are unique in that they serve a dual purpose – protection from both tornadoes and active shooters. They have been designed and tested to withstand the destructive forces of the highest category (EF5) tornado. In addition, each safety pod is constructed with American-made, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) ballistic Level III steel (MIL-DTL-46100). Being virtually bulletproof, the pods are capable of stopping bullets from semi-automatic weapons, such as AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, which are commonly used in mass shootings.
The pods serve as an excellent defense layer for schools that are concerned about the dramatic rise in school shootings in recent years, since near-absolute protection for students is available. There is no longer the need to hide in fear in closets or under desks. Finally, a safety measure that can potentially eliminate casualties is now readily available.
The design of the safety pods can be customized to satisfy any amount of square footage and any desired layout. Typically, each pod occupies less than 5% of the existing classroom space. Unlike other security measures, such as armed personnel, video surveillance systems, metal detectors, etc., the one-time investment comes with no operating or maintenance costs. The safety pods can be used to retrofit existing buildings or can be designed into new ones. They can even be moved to a different location later if necessary. Most importantly, each pod, regardless of layout or size, is designed to be immediately accessible, ensuring occupant safety within seconds.