COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) - Columbiana is making big changes to the way it protects students, teachers and staff.
The school district is having Threat Extinguishers installed. The devices were created by inventor Sam Fasone. He said they were designed so that anyone could pick one up and use it.
“You never know who that hero is going to be,” Fasone said.
The smart case holds a combination of a panic system, which includes a 100-decibel alarm that sounds immediately and begins protection immediately.
“Just removing the canister can send out a thousand text messages and emails plus calls authorities at the same time,” Fasone said.
If a student is joking around, they will have just called the police on themselves.
The defense option includes a pepper spray with a Scoville rating over 5 million. That's 10 times hotter than the hottest habanero pepper.
Columbiana saw a demonstration of the system and thought it was a good fit for the district.
“One of the things we heard loud and clear right now, the way everybody is feeling, was you can look for a non-lethal defense system,” said Dixon Elementary Principal Kim Sharshan.
Fasone says that means that if there was a mistake made, “there are tears involved but not tears at a funeral.”
Columbiana will add other safety upgrades on its three campuses. Every visitor will have their criminal background checked. The board of education has also approved adding a school resource officer (SRO).
The school superintendent and police chief are working out final details on the SRO. The combination of the Threat Extinguisher and the police officer provides a way for Columbiana to Alert, Notify and Defend.
“This is going to be so user-friendly and easy to use. I think it is going to give our school community peace of mind and a sense of safety,” Sharshan said.
Threat Extinguisher is an Ohio company from Westerville. Twelve schools have installed the devices and nine more are getting them this summer.