Scared of Shootings, Florida Parents Buy Bulletproof Bags & Inserts as Schools are Reopening
Florida parents buy bulletproof bags and inserts as school reopen. (Photo Credits: King Center & Al Pefley/Twitter)

With the new academic year fast approaching, some American schools are starting to resemble maximum security prisons. Bulletproof backpacks, reinforced doors and perimeter fencing - these are some of the extraordinary measures being taken to protect US kids from gun violence. In the first half of 2018, there were nearly 30 school shootings resulting in at least 40 deaths and 60 plus injuries. With the increase in school violence, parents and schools are now considering many products that most people never would have even thought existed.

Parents don't feel safe sending their kids to school and school safety is the first thing on her mind. Guns and Range Training Center in West Palm Beach owned by Alex Shkop says he might have an answer for the worried parents. On the shelves, parents will find an item for sale - a bulletproof insert made of a tough dense material - designed to fit inside a child's backpack. The ballistic insert is fairly light, weighing about one pound and two ounces. The insert costs about 125 dollars.

Yesterday, one distraught teacher posted pictures of a bulletproof shield which she found in one of her student’s pack packs. She wrote: "You know how sad it is to open up a kid’s backpack to grab his lunch and see a bulletproof shield? He’s in PRESCHOOL. A preschooler should not have to be carrying this around in his backpack. Seeing this broke my heart”

Shkop said, "That's the same armour that cops wear and it was just reshaped. It's sad that we have to come to that, but that's just the reality." He also said it will stop a bullet from a handgun, up to a .44 magnum. But one important note pointed out by Shkop is that these inserts can stop a bullet from a handgun, but not a rifle, which is more powerful.

Charleston County School District has revealed it is piloting new bulletproofed doors, which are still light enough for a six-year-old to open. Following a spate of shooting this year, including the massacre of 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, education officials have ramped up security.