MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Local parents aren't waiting for government funding to add security upgrades to schools. They're paying out of their own pockets to protect their children.
Each classroom at Coddle Creek Elementary in Mooresville has a Rhinoware door barricade. It only takes a second to deploy and secure the class in case there is a shooting incident. Parents raised thousands of dollars to buy 40 barricades for the school.
Jenny Medlen's triplets were excited to start second grade at Coddle Creek. Medlen is part of a group of parents investing their own money to make sure they're safe within school walls.
"Just being able to take control, as small as you can in your circle, is important for that sense of self-security," she said.
After the deadly school shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, Florida this year, Coddle Creek's parent-teacher organization raised more than $15,000 within a month.
That was enough for three new cameras and 40 Rhinoware door locks.
"I hate we have to have this conversation but as principal, as someone that's overseeing the safety of 670 students, it's just something to think about all time," principal Susan Fail said.
Coddle Creek is one of four schools in Iredell County where PTO, along with the help of local businesses, have stepped up to add the door guards.
"This is what my families want,” Fail said. “This is what we're going to do."
Medlen is grateful for the added security but worries some schools may not see the same protective upgrades if parents can't afford it.
"It's hard, I would have preferred to see this as a district-wide initiative or statewide initiative," Medlen said.
Iredell County voters will have the chance to approve a quarter-cent sales tax for school security in November. Learn more about the tax proposal here.
It will pay for a list of upgrades including locks, fencing and even bullet resistant window tint at schools across the district. It would also focus on student well-being and fund more mental health counselors and nurses.
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