MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Fed up with violence, a Michigan father has invented a simple, inexpensive device to keep students safe in their classrooms. It's called The Boot, and the Reeths-Puffer School District is the first in West Michigan to have it installed.
"We're expanding quickly," said Rob Couturier, as he and his employees at the Lockdown Company got to work in Reeths-Puffer schools. The boots are slabs of metal used to jam classroom doors within seconds of a teacher feeling threatened.
Couturier had help creating The Boot from local sheriff's departments and Michigan State Police. His idea hatched after his daughter dealt with bullying by someone who was not supposed to be on school grounds. The idea was put into action when he heard news of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. "That little metal thing would've saved everyone's lives if it was there," he said.
Reeths-Puffer schools are the first in West Michigan to install The Boot on every classroom door. Each one can withstand 16,000 lbs. of pressure. 100,000 have been produced, some of which have been installed in other Michigan schools.
Business is starting to pour in from out-of-state to the Lockdown Company, which is based in Fowlerville. "My goal is to have about 250 jobs here in the state of Michigan. Manufacturing is going to stay here, everything is going to stay right here," Couturier said.
The Lockdown Company is also planning production of a second school safety product called The Blast Shield, an aluminum material which replaces the glass portion of a classroom door. Reeths-Puffer has already put in an order.
As for the workload, Couturier is prepared to work as many hours as he's asked. "Every time a teacher says thank you, that's what it's all about."