MOORESVILLE – Thanks to the efforts of the Lake Norman High School PTSA, the school has raised $27,500 to install security locks for 131 internal doors.
PTSA President Stacey Koster said the locks, which are made by Durham-based RhinoWare, have been installed in several elementary schools in the Iredell-Statesville School district. But she said LNHS is the first high school in the district to have them installed.
“We’re really proud of that,” Koster said.
The RhinoWare Door Barricade System is specifically designed for active shooter situations, and it was invented to keep schools and businesses safe.
The lock can be engaged in one movement without keys, which Koster said is comforting.
“We have situations where some doors don’t have locks; some have to be locked with a key,” Koster said. “And if we have substitutes, they sometimes don’t have keys to the door. … Or if it’s a teacher, the keys are in their purse or their desk. It’s not a quick thing. We wanted something quicker to keep the kids safe.”
Koster said she’s never felt LNHS needs be worried about active shooter situations.
“But you always think it’s not going to happen to me, and you hear on the news that those are always the areas it happens in,” Koster said. “I haven’t necessarily thought we need them, but it feels better knowing we have them.”
To raise money for the locks, the PTSA advertised at the school and tried to get word out to the community.
“I don’t know if it ever did; I think all the donors were parents,” Koster said. “We did not have company contributions, so it was our school community.”
The PTSA did receive one donation of $15,000 from an anonymous donor, which Koster said “put them over the edge” of reaching their goal.
“But we had a lot of donors,” Koster said. “I think most donors sponsored an entire door. We had very few (donations) of less than $200, and it was $200 a door.”
And, although most families didn’t know it when they donated, sponsoring a door gave them a unique perk.
“One thing (RhinoWare) did that was wonderful is they engraved the locks,” Koster said. “We didn’t advertise that at the beginning, but we went and called everyone who sponsored a door. I gave them a call and said, ‘What do you want engraved on your lock?’”
Koster, whose family donated, simply put “The Koster Family” on their lock. Other families, she said, put the names of their children on the lock.
“I have two children at Lake Norman,” Koster said. “I’ve had three go through there; one has graduated. And for me, this is peace of mind.”