In case you missed this story, here’s the news report from Fox 29:

Basically, graduating 8th graders were given ballistic inserts for their backpacks in preparation for heading off to high school.  Judging from the looks on their faces, I would guess they were Wordless.  While the shields do protect against the ammunition from certain types of guns, I question the value of a 10-inch x 12-inch shield that may or may not be in the right place at the right time.

I thought maybe I was just unaware of the benefits of ballistic shields in backpacks, so I asked Paul Timm, PSP, of Facility Engineering Associates.  Paul said, “The concept of bullet-resistant (because there is no such thing as “bulletproof”) shields is unsettling to school stakeholders, because esoteric products such as this make no real contribution to a safe learning environment. Protection-effectiveness will only be enhanced as they take further steps to improve access control, communications, awareness, relationships, etc.”

Other safety advocates were quoted in the New York Times article – So It’s on to High School Now? Here’s a Bullet Shield for Your Backpack.  While I understand that schools and parents want to do all they can to protect kids, and I appreciate the sentiment behind the gift, I think there’s more that can be done to proactively provide safety and security in our schools.


Related Post:  School Security – How to Build and Strengthen a School Safety Program, by Paul Timm

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