Florida Christian School in Miami has decided to take action for extra security. The nondenominational kindergarten through 12th grade school is now offering students bulletproof backpack inserts in case of a mass shooting. Although the school has never been a target nor scene of gun violence, private security of the school wants to be prepared just in case. George Gulla, head of the school’s security, stated in an interview with Miami Herald, “I’d rather be prepared for the worst than be stuck after saying ‘Wow, I wish we would’ve done that.’”
The inserts come from Applied Fiber Concepts, which is a body armor company based in Hialeah, Florida. Owner Alex Cejas came up with the idea after attending an active shooting drill instructed by Gulla himself. Cejas also spoke with Miami Herald about the inserts, “While books and stuff in your backpack may stop a bullet, they’re not designed to. I wouldn’t bet my life on it.” The backpack panels can reportedly protect students from bullets such as .357 SIG and .44 Magnum, although rifle bullets would require heavier armor.
Florida Christian School isn’t the only school offering security such as the panels to students. Following the Virginia Tech massacre that claimed the lives of 32 people in 2007, Bullet Blocker, based in Massachusetts, began developing products that can offer protection to students and faculty such as bulletproof backpacks, fleeces, briefcase, and even binder inserts.
While the bulletproof backpack inserts are not mandatory for parents to purchase, Gulla thinks it could calm the minds of worrying parents.