School shootings have parents shopping for bulletproof backpacks - FOX 13 News

School shootings have parents shopping for bulletproof backpacks, jackets

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It's time to get those age old school supplies. But, now some parents have added an unlikely new item to their list: a bulletproof backpack.

The pack is the brainchild of former deputy sheriff Joe Curran. His own daughter was starting school and he was afraid of all the school shootings happening nationwide.

"I had an old vest I basically cut up, put it inside the backpack, and sent them on their way, and friends and neighbors, some family, said 'what a great idea,'" he said.

The bullet proof backpack was born, along with a new made-in-America company, Bullet Blocker. The Massachusetts-based business, which specializes in bulletproof school supplies, has grown to seven full-time employees and has both domestic and international sales. It's not just about the backpack anymore.

"We started making inserts for notebooks," Curran said. "We started making jackets, and other things like that for the individual personal safety so they could, you know, shelter in place if necessary."

At least two other companies are also now in the business of bulletproof school supplies.

School safety expert Gregory Thomas said the new trend is a little upsetting.

"To have bulletproof backpacks sad commentary," he said. "Better as last line of defense than first."

Thomas said he'd prefer to see schools embrace other safety measures like keeping eyes and ears open for students who seem troubled. But, Thomas admitted the Sandy Hook school shooting was a game changer

Bullet Blocker products are a level-IIIA grade, capable of stopping most handguns and even some shotguns. The prices start around $200.

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