SOUTHBURY, Conn. (WTNH)–It’s just a small little wedge, something usually used to prop the door open. But one family with ties to Sandy Hook Elementary School has been sharing their story of the door stopper on Facebook, and it has gone viral.
“It was hard, it was sad, it was scary, and I have friends who went there, siblings who were actually in the school,” Gabby said.
After that, her aunt gave her and her sister Haley a present–a doorstop, to jam under the classroom door to keep out a shooter.
“I was excited that there was something I could do, and keep with me, that would help save my life, or my friends’ lives.”
The students keep the doorstops in their backpacks at all times, and their aunt, Katie Cornelis, keeps one in her purse with the car keys and wallet.
“I was feeling powerless, and when I was laying on the couch the other night after this latest school shooting, and I was like, ‘I need to do something, I can just share this what I did, just to help my nieces,” Katie said.
Last week she posted the doorstop idea on Facebook, and the next morning there or 8000 hits. Now, it’s over 1.3 million.
“Now that it has gone viral, I’m getting emails from people saying thank you, this is such a great idea, it’s cheap it’s effective and you can carry it around very easily.”
They do caution, you have to be careful to make sure the door swings into the classrooms when you place a stop under it. If the gunman tries to shoot up the lock or break out the window, if the stops are in place that door is not going to open, and the more stops, the more stopping power.
“It always reminds me that I have something with me,” says Haley Bates, “they can keep me just a little bit more safe, even if it is just a small moment or something that lasts a half a second, it is something I can do.”
Every time Haley finds the doorstop in her backpack, it is a reminder that she is ready to stop trouble. It’s also a reminder of Sandy Hook.
“It made it a lot more of a serious issue for me, but it also made it something that I realized I needed to get up and change.”
News 8 asked Katie where she came up the idea with the doorstop, and she says she doesn’t remember, she might have seen it on TV. But she thought it was a great idea and wanted to pass it on.