Classroom Protection for schools. An armoring company enters the school market with its $1,850 ‘Safeboards’ that can shield kids from bullets.
Seemingly random incidents involving mass shootings keep occurring in the U.S., as Monday’s tragic news from the Washington Navy Yard in the nation’s capital underscores. But at least there’s a new approach to protecting school classrooms from such shootings, and it doesn’t involve arming teachers or administrators.
International Armoring Corp. thinks it has the solution to dealing with armed intruders: bulletproof whiteboards that can slide across classroom doors, deflecting the harm of handguns or automatic weapons, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
The idea came about after two school districts approached the company and asked for solutions that could provide functionality and protection. Voila, the “Safeboard,” a whiteboard enhanced with armored protection.
“They didn’t want the classroom to look like a fortress,” chief executive Mark Burton told the publication.
The districts begain talking with the company before the Newtown, Conn., massacre that left 26 children and adults dead when a gunman opened fire in the Sandy Hook Elementary School. With the start of the new school year in 2013, six districts have bought the new Safeboards, the piece noted.
The protection won’t come cheap because the sliding whiteboards start at $1,850. Another version, which creates a corner partition that can shelter 37 kindergartners, costs about $5,800.
Still, the solution may appeal to parents and teachers who are uneasy at the idea of arming school staff. And there may be good reason for thinking twice about that idea.
Witness the recent case of Jeremy Hutchinson, a Republican state senator in Arkansas who’s pushing to arm teachers.
In an “active shooter” training session, Hutchinson himself mistakenly shot a teacher (he was using a pistol with rubber bullets, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.) That slip-up even gave Hutchinson “some pause,” the paper noted.
Given the stakes, shelling out for an armored whiteboard may seem elementary to some districts.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.