For many families, school supply shopping is one of the best parts of the school year. Fresh notebook pages, shiny new binders, maybe a new lunchbox — and no unfinished homework or unsigned permissions slips in sight. But these days, school isn't quite the same.
Now, many parents are thinking about more than just getting their kids to the bus stop on time. The five deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history have occurred in the past 10 years. One of them occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children between 6 and 7 years old lost their lives. As a way to ease parents' minds, one school in Florida has decided to sell bulletproof panels for students' backpacks. But some people are asking whether that's enough.
Parents can now purchase bulletproof backpack panels on Florida Christian School's website.
The “ballistic panels” cost $120 each and are designed to be carried in students’ backpacks. George Gulla, the dean of students and head of school security told CNN that the panels add “another layer of protection” in the event of an active shooter. The teachers are also told to train their students to use their backpacks as a shield during a shooting event.
There has never been a shooting incident at this particular school.
Many people — including musician John Legend — are pointing out that selling bulletproof backpack panels is not necessarily the right way to go about addressing the issue of mass shootings.
This is more in line with treating a symptom rather than the actual problem. While it’s undoubtedly better to be prepared for a horrific event, wouldn’t it be even better to put legislation in place that could prevent the vast majority of those horrific events from ever occurring?
Is sending our kids to school with bulletproof backpacks truly the best we can do?
Legend went on to talk about how things were much different when he was in school.
We all participated in fire drills, tornado drills, or earthquake drills. Now, there are lockdown drills to teach kids how to act in the event of an active shooter. In some preschools, it’s standard protocol to call lockdown drills “skunk drills” — kids go through lockdown procedures to hide from getting sprayed by a skunk.
Again — is this truly the best we can do?