Quitman Schools believe in safety first for their students and recently finished installing safe shelters in all of the classrooms. Superintendent Dennis Truxler gave The Sun Times and Channel 4/16’s reporter Rebecca Jeffrey a tour recently to show off the new additions to the classrooms.
The shelters manufactured by Staying Home Corporation and purchased from National Safety Shelters at a cost of about one million dollars. The shelters are built to withstand tornadoes, as well as an active shooter event. They are made of bulletproof materials and inside are built to withstand even the roof falling in from the building around them. Truxler said in the event of an emergency the teachers and students can be inside the shelter within two minutes. The shelters have moveable lights inside the shelter so children won’t be frightened. Each shelter is built to hold the number of students that will be in that classroom on any given day. The shelter that is in the cafeteria can hold up to 200 students and teachers. Truxler said that in the event of an emergency these shelters within the classroom allow a much faster response time. Before the shelter if a tornado was bearing down on Quitman schools students would have to be assembled and moved around the buildings, but with the in classroom shelters the teacher only has to get the students into the shelter, which is much faster when minutes matter.
Quitman is the only school district in Arkansas to have these in classroom shelters in place. Truxler said he has been getting phone calls from other interested districts now that theirs are in place. He welcomes districts to come look at theirs anytime.