With mass shootings becoming such a norm as to hardly stand out in the news cycle anymore, schools are grappling with some new considerations once completely foreign to them. One Miami -area private school is leading the pack with an innovative idea.
Florida Christian School, in unincorporated Olympia Heights, has begun selling $120 bulletproof panels on their website. The panels are approximately the size of a binder and designed to fit inside a student’s backpack to offer an additional measure of protection in the event of a shooting.
“It’s just a tool,” explained George Gulla, head of security for the school. “I’d rather be prepared for the worst than be stuck after saying, ‘Wow, I wish we would’ve done that.’”
Gulla provides drills for both students and parents on what to do if there’s a shooting. At one such a drill, a parent—Alex Cejas, president of ballistic armor company Applied Fiber Concepts—announced that he’d begun placing bulletproof panels in his son’s backpack. The idea took off from there.
The panels are very durable, and are able to stop bullets fired from .44 magnum handguns, though they do not protect effectively from rifle rounds.