Freedom schools install new JAMBLOCK security system


Baylee Stewart

Safes will be placed in classrooms that contain the JAMBLOCK device.

Baylee Stewart, Managing Editor (Print)

New emergency door stoppers are being installed in classrooms throughout the district. Each classroom will receive one of these door stoppers. These door stoppers, called JAMBLOCKs, will be used in the event of an emergency within the school.

The JAMBLOCK will be placed in the classrooms for additional safety. They were created by Security Director of Woodland Hills School District Bob Ploskunak. After 35 years of being employed at this school, he created this device to save time finding safety for students and faculty in the classroom, yet allows time for the police to respond.

[JAMBLOCK] was designed by a former teacher, so all of the experiences and activities that take place in a normal classroom were taken into consideration in the design and construction of the device,” Superintendent Jeffrey Fuller said.

The JAMBLOCKs were brought to the administration’s attention about two years ago. They were shown to be easily installed and simple to operate. These JAMBLOCKs were bought for the campus through a grant. Freedom Area School District applied for a grant called Pennsylvania Safe School Coalition. This grant was then awarded to Freedom to receive the JAMBLOCKs. This leads to no cost to the citizens of the public.

JAMBLOCKs are being used in many buildings all around the United States.

“JAMBLOCKs are being used in schools, hospitals, colleges, businesses, and government buildings throughout the US,” Ploskunak said.

The only safety before these JAMBLOCKs were the locks on the doors. However, those locks could be broken into if there was enough force. Even if the glass was broken on the door while the JAMBLOCK was in use, and the door handle was used in an attempt to open the door from the inside, the door still wouldn’t open.

Faculty will be the only ones using these devices due to recommendations. Also, the faculty would know when these devices are needed to be used. These JAMBLOCKs are advancing our safety within our school. The JAMBLOCKs prevent this ability to break through the doors so easily.

We believe that including these devices in our building security plans and procedures provides teachers and students with another tool to help provide for their safety if faced with an emergency situation,” Fuller said.

Freedom is continually adding on to their safety measures on campus. Freedom has been awarded $25,000 as the first phase of the grant. This phase includes revising the entrance of the middle school to look similar to the high school entrance, meaning that there will be a pass-through window to advance the safety in the entrance of the middle school.

The other phase of the grant consists of $80,000, to create a sidewalk between the lower and upper campuses. Guardrails will also be built in certain parking areas and new fencing will be placed around the elementary and middle school playground.

We are always looking for ways to enhance student and staff safety,” Fuller said.

The JAMBLOCK is only a small portion of the new safety measures that are being created within the Freedom schools. However, this piece of equipment will advance our safety while in class.