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Will Bulletproof Backpacks Become the Norm?

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Will Bulletproof Backpacks Become the Norm?

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In response to increasing violence in schools and universities, parents are turning to new alternatives to protect their schoolchildren.

In the United States, MJ Safety Solutions is marketing bulletproof backpacks for kids. Each costs $175, is light to carry—weighing only 20 ounces, compared to 15-pound police vests—provides protection from shots to the back, and can also be used as a shield.

After three years of development, the backpacks meet Level II protection standards of the National Institute of Justice, which researches crime control and justice issues. The manufacturer states that during testing the backpacks stopped nearly 97% of the bullet types used in school shootings since 1900. This includes nine-millimeter hollow-point bullets.

In Britain, anxious parents are turning to BladeRunner, an Essex-based firm that “stab-proofs” blazers and jumpers (sweaters) by lining them with Kevlar, a light synthetic fiber material used in body armor worn by soldiers and police personnel.

The mother of a young girl who had been the victim of a knife attack told British newspaper The Sun that she supported stab-proof clothes for children, and said of her daughter, “If she had been wearing it (Kevlar-lined clothing) she wouldn’t have spent two weeks in the hospital.”

So far this year, seven schoolboys in Britain have been stabbed to death, and this within the space of two months.

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