Students in select areas of the country are heading back to school with the likes of bulletproof backpacks and whiteboards that also work as shields — even though some are calling it overkill.
“It may be well-intended but it’s not well thought-out,” said Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school safety consultant who is also the father of young children, on NBC. “I would ask this question: If you need a bulletproof backpack, wouldn’t the child also need a bulletproof front pack and a helmet and a Captain America shield?”
But many parents and school administrators aren’t taking any chances in the face of the Sandy Hook, Conn., massacre and, the latest, this week’s gunfire scare at a Decatur, Ga., school. Meanwhile, makers of the school-age defense items say business is booming.
Michael Dorn, the executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit that conducts safety assessments for schools, said on NBC that his company has been overloaded with requests. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore spent $60,000 to purchased 200 bulletproof whiteboards, NBC reported. And Steve Jurak, with the San Diego-based Mighty Mojo firm, said his company’s bulletproof backpack has been flying off shelves. The backpack sells for $149.95, he said, and is able to stop a bullet from a .44 Magnum that’s fired at 15 feet, NBC reported.
“Whenever there is a blip, some random act of violence, we see a surge in sales,” he said.