School districts investing in desk shields made in Huntersville

Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:17 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - One local manufacturing company is doing its part to help schools reopen safely.

Poly-Tech Industrial, Inc. in Huntersville is creating thousands of shields that can attach to school desks and serve as a barrier between students.

School districts across the country are ordering them, including several in our area.

“People were making these already out of a hard plastic called plexi-glass or acrylic,” Poly-Tech Industrial, Inc. President Dan Cedrone said. “When I heard the price they’re paying, I was astonished. Knowing I could do a better job, I invented the Gazuntite Shield which saves them about $30 a piece.”

The shield is made of a clear plastic. It’s flexible but it still stops coughs, sneezes, and really any airborne germs. He says it is FDA-approved and they are waiting on a patent.

“It blocks them from people in front of them as well as right and left-hand sides,” Cedrone said.

Several local school districts are ordering them including Clover School District, Fort Mill School District, Rock Hill School District and Lincoln County School District.

Aaron Allen with Lincoln County Schools says once behind the shields in socially distanced desks, some children will be able to take the masks off to learn.

“We have a hearing impaired program and those students read lips, so we’ve been trying to experiment with different options for those students and teachers to be able to still communicate and learn,” Allen said.

They are easy to set up. All teachers have to do is peel off the protective layer and clip them onto the desk.

“Everybody wants to get back into some level of normalcy and hopefully this allows them to do just that,” Cedrone said.

The shields cost between $17 and $19 depending on the shape and size.

Several school districts have been able to buy them with money from their CARES funding.

According to a spokesperson for the Fort Mill School District, they bought 8,000 shields for every elementary student.

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