‘It’s No Different Than a Seatbelt in a Car’
Posted on Apr 26, 2013
In addition to bulletproof whiteboards, some U.S. schools are weighing the benefits of adopting uniforms lined with ballistic material that can stop a 9 mm bullet traveling at 400 meters per second.
Unorthodox safety products are finding their way into schools as U.S. legislators fail to enact gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown massacre. A Denver company that produces a bulletproof backpack has sold more than 300 units in the last two months and received inquiries from some 2,000 families across the country.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Barry Tull, headteacher of Worcester Preparatory School in rural Maryland, has 80 ballistic shields deployed in his classrooms disguised as whiteboards and clipboards. Some teachers use them to assign homework, others lean them up against the wall, but most of Worcester’s middle and high-school children know what they are for.
“Our teachers were concerned to begin with about whether they were expected to be first responders, but at least they feel they have something now as opposed to cowering in the corner with their kids,” says Tull. “The former secret service trainers we had in showed us how they can deploy them; how to hold them in front of their body defensively or use them offensively where the teacher charges at someone with the shield as cover.”
Vince Alongi (CC BY 2.0)