MERIDIAN - Protecting our children in school shooting situations has become top of mind for administrators and teachers in Idaho and across the country.
Jammie Elkins, a kindergarten aid at Chief Joseph Elementary School in the West Ada School District, sees first hand the stress that kids are under when they go through active shooter drills at school.
Over the last few months, she's been working on a way that will hopefully buy teachers some time and ultimately stop an intruder from getting into classrooms.
"In 30 seconds or less they have to get the doors locked they have to get the kids calm and I was thinking we've got to make these easier for them," Elkins said.
She says she searched Home Depot to try to find a solution, but nothing worked so created what she's calling a hinge lock that goes over the hinge at the top of a doorway.
Elkins says she got help from Pacific Steel. They cut the steel for her and she sanded down the sharp edges.
"It doesn't replace the barricade or anything like that but kind of in addition to it," said Elkins.
Every school has different doors, so the locks would have to be made for each particular door. The lock, Elkins says, will give teachers and students extra time to hide in a situation where every second counts.
"I have two kids in the school as well and it's intimidating, but it is the world we live in and we have to accept it for what it is and do what we can," Elkins said.
The locks Elkins made are now in every classroom at Chief Joseph Elementary School and while Elkins wanted to do anything to help, she didn't expect it to take off like it has.
"I think we underestimate the little things that we can do as parents and as teachers," said Elkins. "I mean a chunk of metal is making a difference."
Elkins says she isn't sure if her locks will make it to other classrooms in the district, but she wants to make sure they are affordable for teachers. She says the locks she has made so far cost less than $3.