Miami private school to sell bulletproof panels for students' backpacks

Is this what we’ve come to? Bulletproof backpack inserts

Parents at a private school in Florida can now buy bullet-resistant insertable panels for their kids' backpacks, a $120 feature that's the latest in a line of security measures at schools nationwide.

The Florida Christian School in Miami has put up the £90 panels on their website in order to give pupils "another level of protection in the event of an active shooter".

'It's just a tool, ' George Gulla, the school's head of security, told the Miami Herald.

While conducting the drills with parents a year ago, Gulla met Alex Cejas, founder of Applied Fiber Concepts, which manufactures the panels. The panels - which weigh less than a pound and can be slid in a backpack among textbooks - can protect students from bullets from pistols but not rifles, which would require heavier armor.

The school, which encourages children to wear their bags on their chest and have security guards patrolling the gates, came up with the idea during an active shooter drill.

"We thought, yeah, let's offer it to anyone who wants it", Gulla said. "It's not required. But if it gives you extra peace of mind..." he told the Miami Herald.

The reaction has been mostly positive, he said, save a few parents who called him to reminisce over "a different time, a different world", when no one thought body armor was as necessary in a backpack as a brown bag lunch. Bullet resistant products have been on the market for decades, with new ones popping up after each high-profile mass shooting.

He has been an expert witness in dozens of cases in which students were hurt or killed in school shootings, and says the solution was never technology.

A U.S. private school is selling bulletproof panels for children to insert in their backpacks in case of a mass shooting.

What's different about these backpack inserts is the partnership with the school.

Parents can order the panels online.

Instead, he says, the key is proper training; and he worries that focusing on the risks of school shootings distracts from other dangers, such as predators luring kids away from school.

The school has never had a shooting incident.



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