Wisconsin teen's invention could save lives in shooting

Published: Feb. 21, 2018 at 7:50 AM CST
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A Wisconsin high school student was inspired by horrific school shootings to invent something that could save lives.

Somerset High School senior Justin Rivard invented a tool he calls the "JustinKase" in shop class. Made of steel plates and connecting rods, his device slips beneath a classroom door and latches to the door’s jam. With his device in place, Rivard has yet to find a person who can push a classroom door open, including linemen from his high school football team.

“You can lock a door with a lock, it can get shot out,” he says. “You can lock a door with this, it can't get shot out. You can't get around it.”

Rivard didn’t have to go far for his first big sale. Somerset High School ordered 50 of them, one for every classroom in the building.

“We started with the high school, then went to the middle school, then the elementary school,” says Shannon Donnelly, Somerset’s principal.

The JustinKase sells for $95.

Donnelly keeps a JustinKase under her desk as well. She expects everyone in the school to know how to use one.

“We immediately, within a week of having these, went through an entire drill, all throughout the building, really walking through students and staff,” she says.

Rivard already has delivered 54 of his devices to the Grantsburg School District in Wisconsin, with 40 more on the way.

He knows of at least one company making a similar device but says his can be put into place faster and costs less. Rivard is waiting for approval on his patent application.

Eric Olson is the technology and engineering teacher at Somerset High School. He’s not surprised by Rivard's creation.

“He's the special combination of motivation and brains and has a motor that just keeps going,” Olson says.