An Alabama elementary school is testing two whiteboards that can be turned into safe rooms to protect students from shooters

We’re now over three months into 2023, and there have been more mass shootings in the U.S. than days so far in the year. Parents continue to live in constant fear that their children waving to them from the school bus in the morning might be the last time they see them alive, but since it’s become clear that our government won’t take the necessary steps to protect kids from guns, which are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S., there’s another creative new “solution” to gun violence in schools.

Two special education classrooms at West Elementary School are testing out whiteboards that can be turned into pop-out, standalone storm shelters in a matter of seconds. The school is the first in the nation to test out the whiteboards, which were invented by KT Security Solutions and cost about $60,000 apiece.

Cullman City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kalhoff said the new whiteboards “can make a difference between life or death in the unimaginable school shooter situation.”

Hali Marquette is one of the teachers in a room with a whiteboard/safe room. While the room can be folded up into a floor-to-ceiling whiteboard to use for instructional use, she said she keeps it popped out all the time instead.

“I’ve started using it as a sensory space for my children,” she explained. “It’s an incentive…if you behave, if you do what is asked of you, you can go in and have some free time. So it’s been really good so far. They love it. And that’s the most important thing is making it a safe space for them.”

So that’s something. When kids crowd into these rooms while the sound of gunshots booms around them, they’ll have happy memories of their last meditation sesh in the gun shelter to combat the trauma.

At the end of the day, these shelters may help save kids’ lives, and that’s a good thing. But spending $60,000 per classroom to protect kids from something as preventable as gun violence is insane, especially when, in the same breath, we’re asking teachers to work second jobs to afford the pencils and Kleenex they need for their classrooms. The solution to mass shootings in schools is already out there—every other country on Earth has figured it out. We don’t need whiteboards that turn into safe rooms. We need common sense gun control.

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