Bulletproof school accessories a big hit

Bulletproof school accessories a big hit

Credit: hardwirellc.com

Bulletproof backpack insert made by Hardwire, LLC.

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by NBCNews.com

kgw.com

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 1:36 PM

The newest trend in back-to-school gear: Armored accessories.

In the wake of recent school shootings, from the tragedy in Newtown, to a gunman opening fire in Georgia, a number of bulletproof school products are now hitting the market, from $109 clipboards and $300 whiteboards to classroom door protectors for $1,500.

Armor manufacturer Hardwire, LLC. makes armored gear for the military. But after Sandy Hook, the CEO, a parent himself, said he had to act.

“It was an emotional switch for me,” said George Tunis.

The bulletproof whiteboard is one of the top sellers. But don't let the size or the pastel colors fool you.

Tunis said this unassuming classroom accessory can stop major firepower.

“If you find yourself in fight mode as a last line of defense, this is the fire extinguisher for gun fire,” he said.

For many parents, it's a welcome trend.

Delaware mom Lisa Barros said she wants to make sure her teenage daughter's schoolbag does more than just carry books. Now she’s got a bulletproof backpack insert.

“I feel a little more confident that she's got one more tool that can ensure her safety,” Barros said.

“You know if something were to happen, that you're going to be a little extra protected than anyone else,” said her daughter Tori.

While most of these products are relatively new, companies like Hardwire said they're selling well among families and schools.

Safety experts have encouraged schools to focus on things like controlling access to the buildings, and having frequent crisis drills.

But advocates for the bulletproof products said if all those things should fail, teachers and students need a way to protect themselves.

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