Families & the Community

More Parents Opting for Bulletproof Gear to Protect Children at School

By Karla Scoon Reid — June 18, 2014 1 min read
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Possibly weary of praying and hoping that their children are safe at school, some parents are placing their faith in bulletproof gear instead.

A story in the Huffington Post found that the bulletproof backpack, accessory and clothing business is growing with each school-based shooting. This depressing trend may reveal that parents are becoming frustrated with the lack of solutions being offered to end gun violence on school campuses.

According to the article, Joe Curran built bulletproof backpacks for his two kids after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. Bullet Blocker’s business, which includes iPad cases, notebooks and school bag survival kits, increased by more than 50 percent last year. The company averages 35 to 40 percent growth annually.

Other companies have seen interest increase for bulletproof clothing and bulletproof inserts and panels that can be kept in desks and binders. According to a story in School Construction News, bulletproof whiteboards are gaining popularity in classrooms across the country, too

The story’s authors emphasize, however, that the bulletproof school supply industry isn’t “mainstream” since most of its business is relegated to online sales.

Meanwhile, Kenneth S. Trump, the president of National School Safety and Security Services, told the Huffington Post that the bulletproof products aren’t realistically helpful.

“If you had a bulletproof backpack, would you need a bulletproof front-back, and bulletproof helmet, and a Captain America shield to go with it?” he wondered.

While that’s a pretty vivid cinematic image, even President Barack Obama is frustrated about these real-life school shootings. Little has changed on the federal level since the nation’s deadliest K-12 school shooting claimed 26 lives in Newtown, Conn. So can anyone blame parents for asserting some semblance of control over their child’s safety at school?

A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.