Making Schools SaferSubmitted: 02/04/2013
Story By Lex Gray

MOSINEE - When you think back to Sandy Hook, you probably think of the name Adam Lanza.

He's the man who gunned down 20 children and six adults at the elementary school in December.

That tragedy has led to a tense gun control debate…and talks about how to deal with mental illness.

It's also made us talk more about school security – but Lanza didn't just walk through those front doors.

They were locked, but he easily shot through a window and got in.

When Dick Peterson of Mosinee heard that part of the story, he thought he could help.

Peterson's daughter and three granchildren live in Newtown.

"The day of the shooting, my daughter called in the morning, and she said 'Dad turn the TV on, there's something that's happened here,'" Peterson said. "It wasn't quite so bad the first day, but then she found out some of her friends lost their children and kids, when she picked them up. It was tough."

Peterson makes his living putting energy-saving film on glass windows and doors.

But he also installs bomb-blast security film.

"I've done 8 ml bomb blast film to protect people like senators, FBI officers, and big credit card companies," Peterson said.

So why not schools? Peterson decided to experiment.

He put bomb blast film on a glass frame, then fit the border with a retention system.

Bullets could still go through, but Peterson's idea is that if the glass doesn't shatter like it did at Sandy Hook, students and teachers would have enough time to evacuate or call police before an attacker broker through.

And unlike bulletproof glass, Peterson can easily retrofit current windows and glass doors with his design.

"It's just like any of the tinting that I do – it's the most efficient way of saving energy," he said. "The security film is the most efficient way of protecting yourself."

Peterson went through two rounds of tests, shooting at the glass prototype and beating it with a bat and gun.

His second prototype worked out well enough that he's ready to show it to school officials and law enforcement Wednesday.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


VILAS COUNTY - An economic group in Vilas County can thank a local casino for a recent donation.

The Lake of the Torches Resort Casino presented members of the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation (VCEDC)with a $2,000 donation.

The donation happened earlier this month.

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - Ringing in the holiday season can be a special time of year for families.

+ Read More

BLACKWELL - The Blackwell Job Corps Center in Forest County will celebrate its 50th anniversary next week. Students and staff will celebrate the occasion on Monday, November 30th.

They'll have a cake cutting ceremony at 3:00 p.m. The community is invited to join the students and staff in the recreation hall from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Not everyone has time to go to the gym during the holiday season, but there still things you can do to stay active at home.

"While you're watching T.V., you can be on the ground doing sit-ups or planks –just anything," says Sheri Gaber, a fitness specialist at personal trainer at Tone Zone Fitness in Rhinelander. "Just keep moving. Keep that sedentary time down."

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Shops in downtown Minocqua want a new way to draw customers to their businesses. The restart of the Minocqua Island Business Association comes at a perfect time, with the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Those businesses want to team up to attract people to downtown Minocqua. It's a more specific mission than the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce.

+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court says state troopers can stop motorists for littering.

The court ruled Wednesday in a case involving Daniel S. Iverson of Amery. Iverson was driving in La Crosse in 2014 when a state trooper pulled him over after he saw someone throw a cigarette out of the vehicle in violation of the state's littering law and cited Iverson for drunken driving.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Within a few months, Merrill Schools will officially protect transgender students under its nondiscrimination policy. Transgender students have received statewide attention lately—not for who they are, but for which bathroom they use.

Merrill is among the districts paying attention to the state conversation closely. Right now, Merrill expects its students to use the bathroom that matches the gender they declare during school registration.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here