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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- After the Parkland shooting, schools across the nation are figuring out how they can keep their school safe against a shooter. One local school district is literally taking matters into its own hands. Larry, the 3D printer, has been working on multiple prototypes of what Klamath Falls City Schools technicians are affectionately calling the ‘Norton Notifier.’ It's named after one of their technicians, Wesley Norton, who came up with its function. It's essentially a panic button.
“If there was an imminent threat, [we] would want to secure the building and get everyone behind locked doors. That’s the safest place to be in those situations. So how do you get that information out as quickly as possible so that people know what to do?," said Klamath Falls City Schools Director of Technology Scott Mahaffey
If that button is pressed, it will send out a lockdown message to every desk phone, every computer, and every speaker in that school. Norton, Mahaffey, and the rest of the tech team have been thinking about this panic button idea over the last year. But after the Florida tragedy, they realized they needed to turn the idea into something real.
"After the Parkland shooting, the technicians [and I] were having a conversation and it was more about how do we do this? How can you make this more of something that everyone can do?" Norton said.
Right now, the plan is to put the final product into every room in the Klamath Falls City Schools District, including the district office. That will cost about 60 thousand dollars. Norton and Mahaffey say student safety is priceless.
"It's constant in my mind that my kids can be harmed anywhere," Norton said. "It’s our kids and they're very important to us. As you see national news, it's becoming more and more a threat so that's why we did it. We felt like we had the capability to do something, something that we would be able to assist and help prevent tragedy like that," Mahaffey said.
The technicians are constantly improving on the ‘Norton Notifier.’ The District hopes to add them into the schools by this summer.
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