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‘Bearacade’ offers layer of protection

Jerry Kidd demonstrates a Bearacade device at his classroom at Rock Hill Middle School.

Jerry Kidd demonstrates a Bearacade device at his classroom at Rock Hill Middle School.

The shiny black vinyl looks a little like a dustpan that has seen better days with a flat groove across its middle.

But its purpose is to make sure there are no bad days at Rock Hill schools should the unthinkable ever happen.

“What it does is to prevent intruders from getting inside a door,” Rock Hill Superintendent Wes Hairston said. “It is very simple to use and in the event we have an active shooter or intruder, it keeps them out of the classroom. It is not possible to get in.”

Now mounted by every door in all the buildings are Bearacades, a device developed by Bearacade Door Control System of Hudson. That’s about 200 Bearacades at a cost of $50 each.

“Our school board has placed a big emphasis on security,” Hairston said. “They have revised the district’s security plan. This provides safety for students and staff.”

The Bearacade slides under a door with the bottom of the door fitting into the groove. The door is pulled shut and a metal pin locks the device in place, preventing the door opening from either side.

Hairston learned about the device about two years ago and this May testified before the state legislature about the need for it as lawmakers were considering a bill to remove an existing ban of barricade devices.

“Everybody in these buildings has a strong sense of security for our children,” he said. “And I couldn’t understand why certain lawmakers or fire marshals were against it.”

The measure passed this spring allowing the use, but requiring standards.