US school sells bulletproof panels for students’ backpacks

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

The Florida Christian School in Miami say the panels give children “another level of protection in the event of an active shooter”.

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.

George Gulla, head of security at the school, told the Miami Herald the panels would protect the students’ “centre mass”.

“It’s just a tool,” he said. “I’d rather be prepared for the worst than be stuck after saying ‘Wow, I wish we would’ve done that.’

“We thought, yeah, let’s offer it to anyone who wants it. It’s not required. But it gives you extra peace of mind.”

He added: “It’s out of the norm, but what is the norm?”

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.

Parent Alex Cejas, who runs a body armour company, began putting the panels in his children’s backpacks when they started school.

“While books and stuff in your backpack may stop a bullet, they’re not designed to. I wouldn’t bet my life on it,” he said.

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.

On October 1, Stephen Paddock carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, killing at least 59 after opening fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Gunman Devin Patrick Kelley slaughtered 26 members of a church congregation in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5.

The Virginia Tech University massacre, which left 32 dead, and the Sandy Hook rampage, in which 20 six-and seven-year old children and six adults were killed, are among the deadliest mass shootings in the US in the past three decades.



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