US school sells bulletproof panels for students' rucksacks
Head of school security says students will be taught to use their backpacks to shield themselves
A Florida school is offering parents bulletproof panels for their children’s rucksacks.
George Gulla, dean of students and head of school security at Florida Christian School, told CNN the bulletproof panels would add “another level of protection” to students of the pre-K through grade 12 school “in the event of an active shooter.”
The school has never had a shooting incident.
“The teachers are trained to instruct the students to use their backpacks as a shield to protect themselves,” Gulla told CNN in an email.
Parents can order the ballistic panels for $120 (£90) on the school’s website, under a section also promoting the school’s red T-shirts and winter wear for students.
Gulla reportedly has employed a number of other security measures at the school, including sound-enabled surveillance cameras and uniformed security guards. He's also held active-shooter drills in which students are told to hold their backpacks close to their chests as a protective layer.
The panels are produced by Applied Fiber Concepts – a body-armour company founded by Alex Cejas, a parent at the school. Last year, Cejas attended one of Gulla's active-shooter drills, which led to his company offering to make custom plates for students.
“While books and stuff in your backpack may stop a bullet, they're not designed to,” Cejas told the Miami Herald. “I wouldn't bet my life on it.”
Gun violence in the US “has come under a sharper focus following the recent mass shootings at a Las Vegas open-air concert and a Texas church,” says the Daily Telegraph.