Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sonic Holds Fundraiser for Student and School Safety

The Bearacade is an easily installed door blocking devise that can be used on school doors.

Denise Norvell of Sallisaw’s Sonic Drive In is on a mission.

“Kids are my future,” she said, “and I want teachers and the kids to be safe.”

As school intrusions and shootings became more frequent, Norvell said she thought about her grandkids, who attend Central School.

“I got a little stressed,” Norvell said. “So I did some research.”

What Norvell found was a company with the same passion – children’s safety.

The company is Bearacade in Ohio. It makes the Bearacade® Lockdown Response System, an easily installed door barrier system that can prevent a hostile intruder.

Norvell found the system costs about $2 per student, or $60 per classroom door. She took her idea to Central School officials. She wanted a Bearacade for every classroom door at Central Schools. So did the school officials.

As a result, on Thursday, June 1, Sallisaw’s Sonic Drive In will kick off its first School Safety Campaign.

Sonic Drive In will be taking donations of all amounts for Central School’s Bearacades. For customers giving at least a $2 donation, Sonic will be passing out coupons for a free Route 44 drink.

“This is so doable,” Norvell said. “The Bearacade is so simple, a kindergartener can do it.”

The device blocks the door at the bottom, while an under-door extension tells those outside the door, such as first responders, that the door is blocked and those inside are safe.

According to the company, “Once in place, the patent-pending Bearacade® can withstand 4,800 pounds of external force! That’s 10 times the strength of a traditional lock set. Lightweight, easy to store, and quick to deploy Bearacade® is ideal for all interior doors that can be used as a safe haven when evacuation is not possible or too dangerous to attempt. Getting out and away is the first, best action. If you cannot get out, Bearacade® is an added option…an added layer of safety.”

So far, donors have given enough that seven Bearacades have already been purchased, but Norvell said 44 more are needed for Central School. Sonic will be taking donations all day on Thursday, and handing out information and donations forms if requested.

Norvell doesn’t plan to stop at Central School. She wants Bearacades in every school in the county.

“I thought it was amazing, and I became passionate about it,” Norvell confessed. “I would love to see it throughout the whole county, in every school.

“Businesses can sponsor a door,” Norvell said. “A Van Buren company heard about it and sent me a $120 check for two doors. If every parent came by and gave us $2 that would get it done. That would be amazing.”

Check donations can be made out to Central Schools PTO, Norvell said.

Norvell asks patrons to think about the children.

“It would be earth shattering if it was your child,” she said about the unthinkable. “You want the teacher and the kids safe.”

Norvell suggested, “You can’t just open your heart. Sometimes you’ve got to open your hand.”

Norvell concluded that a Bearacade on every school door in Sequoyah County, “would be a great relief!”

The Bearacade is an easily installed door blocking devise that can be used on school doors.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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