Bullet-resistant doors in schools? A Fargo security company looks to push them out locally

Published: Sep. 9, 2018 at 10:24 PM CDT
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As schools across the states look to upgrade in safety, a Minneapolis-based construction company offers a solution: in bullet-resistant doors. Now a security company here in Fargo is looking to push them out locally—and some area schools may be in the market for them.

With recent school shootings shaking the nation, one Minnesota construction company offers a solution. Jason Horner owns Aaron Carlson Corporation—he demonstrated how his doors could protect students.

"This door will stop assault-style rifles...the bullet actually impacts the glass and they, just sprays out into the frame," he said.

The company’s bullet-resistant doors are part of Horner’s Safe Kids Safe Schools brand.

Horner says up to 80 percent of past school shooters have been able to just walk right through the schools’ front doors—which is why placing his doors right out front would be effective in keeping a shooter out in the first place.

"Slowing those shooters down so that people behind the doors have time to react," he said.

And now a Fargo security company wants to help market the doors within its selling region as well.

Matthew Castle is the operations manager for Sentry Security, Inc. in Fargo.

"More and more of the violence keeps creeping up in the schools," Castle said.

But the doors don't come cheap.

"The price I'd say about $10,000 a door," Castle said.

Castle says it's best to fill the entire school with the bullet-resistant doors—but says even just a few of them for designated safe rooms could potentially keep an entire school safe.

"And that's the idea of the doors, is to provide safe zones to the kids to go to,” Castle said, “and once they lock it they know they'll be safe behind it and not have to worry about getting shot."

And some grant money is available, in Minnesota at least: schools across the state are vying for a piece of the $25 million grant money available to upgrade safety. The Star Tribune reports applications have been flying in, and altogether schools have requested more than 10 times that amount statewide.

We reached out to the Moorhead school district to find out whether it’s looking into security upgrades.

In a statement, it responded, saying:

"Moorhead Area Public Schools went through a facility planning process and designed our schools to be safe and secure. As a district we take safety seriously and are always looking for ways to continually improve."

We asked whether the district applied for any of the grant money available from the state Department of Education, but have not yet heard back about that.

Meanwhile in North Dakota, proposals to add more security to schools failed in the last two sessions—but legislators say it'll likely be on the agenda again next year.

Still, West Fargo schools are looking to install bullet-resistant equipment—it's a piece of their September 25 bond referendum. Projected security upgrade costs total $4.1 million.

According to the West Fargo Public Schools' website, the total bond package would incur a net tax impact of +$15.80 for someone who owns a $100,000 home value. Only $0.61 of that would be associated with the security upgrades project.

And Matthew Castle says it would be worth a parent's tax dollars.

"I think that a parent would say yeah, rather spend that much money, at least I feel safe that my kid's now going to school in that," he said.