Bulletproof Whiteboards Doubles As Shield In Schools
Rather than providing teachers with firearms, is the solution to school safety equipping classrooms with bulletproof shields? One Maryland company thinks so. Hardwire LLC—an armor manufacturer—has developed bullet-proof white boards that teachers can not only use for lessons but also protection during an emergency.
The boards are made of a material called Dyneema, which can repel bullets shot from handguns as wells as shotguns. The 18-by-20 inch white boards can be used as any other—written on with dry-erase markers and wiped clean during lessons. But they also include three straps on the back so they can be held up as a shield—the same size and composition used by military units in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Primarily the board is going to spend most of its life as a teaching tool. Hopefully all of its life,” Hardwire CEO George Tunis told the Daily News. “In the event of an emergency, Murphy’s Law usually applies and you want to be prepared,” he said. “The white board buys time while first responders make it to the scene.“
Generally during an emergency, teachers are instructed to lock their classroom doors and move students out of the way. But if a shooter were to take aim at the door or break it down, the shield could be used as a secondary defense against gunfire.
“It’s a last line of defense…not something you go into the hallway with,” Tunis said.
Hardwire has tested the boards—as have third party labs certified by the military. When bullets strike the boards, they don’t ricochet. Instead, they are embedded in the fibers of the board’s material.
Tunis feels the boards are a practical, non-controversial and cost-efficient strategy to prepare schools for a massacre similar to the tragedy that occurred Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary. A typical high school can be equipped with enough boards to armor ever student and adult—including every janitor, coach and lunch lady—for a one-time cost of about $20,000, or $299 per board—compared to about $50,000 a year for an armed guard.
I want more stuff like this!