ashland.news
July 21, 2024

School safety nonprofit held demonstration on Ashland Plaza on Saturday

Safe Zone Solution board member Michael Klam, left, holds open the bulletproof door during a demonstration on Ashland Plaza on Saturday afternoon. Ashland.news photo by Morgan Rothborne
October 15, 2023

Safe Zone Solution wants to put bullet-proof doors on every classroom

By Morgan Rothborne, Ashland.news

A large blue door stood on the Ashland Plaza Saturday afternoon in an effort to raise awareness for an idea — make classroom doors bulletproof. 

“We’re reinventing the modern school to include safety against school shootings. … We want to see prevention as opposed to response,” said Natalie Sol. 

Natalie and her husband, Alex Sol, sat beside the door at a table in front of a sign with the name of their nonprofit: The Safe Zone Solution. The blue door is bulletproof and its glass window is treated with a bullet resistant film. The nonprofit hopes to see the door implemented first throughout the Ashland School District and then Sol hopes other schools will follow suit. The nonprofit’s idea is that preventing school shootings should be built into the infrastructure — even the building code — of educational spaces the same way prevention for fires is built in with sprinkler systems. 

The Sols spent the afternoon handing out information and gathering signatures to persuade the Ashland School Board to allow them to present their idea during a school board meeting. The purpose of the afternoon demonstration was to not only gather signatures but also introduce the door to the public, Alex Sol said. 

Sky Sol, 12, at left, stands beside a prototype for a bulletproof door. At the table are her parents, Alex and Natalie Sol. Their nonprofit, Safe Zone Solution, hopes to see such doors installed in the Ashland School District. Ashland.news photo by Morgan Rothborne

He opened the door and pointed to its additional safety feature, three locks — at the top, the bottom and at the latch. He turned a single knob beside the handle and all three locks engaged immediately. 

“A kid can do it,” he said. 

Sitting in the Plaza with the couple was their daughter, Sky Sol. The 12-year-old recently moved from Belleview Elementary to Ashland Middle School. Asked what she thinks of her parent’s idea, she connected it to her frustration with the shooting drills she is asked to do at school. 

“It’s not bad. It’s better than ‘alright kids, 1, 2, 3, eyes on me, let’s hide in the corner and pretend turning the lights off makes us invisible’,” she said. 

The shooting drills aren’t enough, she said. Especially with the potential that a school shooter could be a former student who would be familiar with hiding places and procedures. Alex Sol argued that with a bulletproof door, students can safely hide in their classrooms. 

The small demonstration won’t be the last and the nonprofit also has a petition directed at Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, in the works, Sol said. The hope is, she can carry the legislative change required to make preventative installations like the doors a requirement for schools. 

More information on the nonprofit is available on their website.

Email Ashland.news reporter Morgan Rothborne at morganr@ashland.news.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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