A Miami school is offering parents a $120 bulletproof backpack insert.
Alex Cejas, a father at Florida Christian School, runs Applied Fiber Concepts, a body armor company. The Miami Herald reports that he outfitted his own kids with the soft armor backpack plates, which weigh under a pound, and made a deal to offer them to other interested families. The school is offering the backpacks to interested parents for $120.
According to the Herald, the panels won’t stop rifle fire, but can protect against handgun fire.
“It’s just a tool,” George Gulla, the school’s head of security told the Herald. “I’d rather be prepared for the worst than be stuck after saying ‘Wow, I wish we would’ve done that.’”
Students at the school are already drilled to carry their backpacks in front of their chest in the event of an active shooter. Last year, as Gulla was running through a safety drill with parents Cejas, was intrigued. Cejas, who founded Hialeah-based Applied Fiber Concepts, slipped one of the soft armor plates he makes into his two kids’ backpacks.
“While books and stuff in your backpack may stop a bullet, they’re not designed to,” Cejas told the Herald. “I wouldn’t bet my life on it.”
The reaction has been mostly positive, he said.
Other body armor companies also sell armored backpacks. After Sandy Hook, the founder of body armor company Bullet Blocker told Marketplace sales rose from 20 backpacks a week to around 10,000.
What’s new here, though, is the partnership with the Miami school. They’re not bought by the school, like the bulletproof whiteboards a Minnesota school board purchased for their district, but parents can print their order form off the Florida Christian’s website and send it to school with their kids.
Header photo: safebee.com