After every mass shooting, which seems to be a monthly occurrence recently, the topic of gun control becomes front and center. Some people claim it's "insensitive" to talk about gun control after a tragedy, while others believe it's actually the exact time to discuss it.
Regardless of your stance on control, we all have one thing in common: we want our kids to be safe at school. No child (or parent for that matter) should have to worry about being attacked while in class.
Adding protection to schools has been a conversation since the Columbine tragedy. The University of Maryland purchased 200 bulletproof whiteboards as an extra level protection after the Sandy Hook killings.
Since January 1st to November 5th, there have been 307 mass shootings in the United States. That averages to 7 mass shootings per week. A mass shooting is classified as any incident that sees four or more people shot or killed in the same general time and location. The five deadliest shootings in the United States have occurred in the past 10 years.
One school in Florida has decided they've got to do something to protect their students, but it's got people talking about priorities.
Florida Christian School in Miami has added a new piece of merchandise to their online store. In addition to winter wear, hoodies and t-shirts, parents can now order ballistic panels for their child's backpack.
The school says they have never had an incident in which the panels are necessary, but they want "another level of protection in the event of an active shooter."
"The teachers are trained to instruct the students to use their backpacks as a shield to protect themselves," George Gulla, dean of students and head of school security at Florida Christian School, told CNN.
The panels run for $120 through the school, or you can order totally bulletproof backpacks from other sites for around $200. This puts a hefty price tag on safety, something that should be guaranteed to every child.
Kenneth Trump, no relation to the president, and an expert on school security, says these backpacks are just a "quick fix" to a larger problem.
"The first and best line of defense is a well-trained staff and student body," Trump said. "If you need a bulletproof backpack, don't you need a bulletproof front pack, headgear, and bulletproofing the rest of your body down to your toes?"
He also acknowledges that these products aren't necessarily a bad thing, just that they're not "well focused for a child-centered environment."
It should be noted, that the idea of protecting students is far from a bad thing. But at what point do we start to realize that gun violence is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed?
These people have the same question.
Imagine explaining to your child how to shield their body with a bulletproof backpack. Improve gun laws instead of adapting to violence. https://t.co/PwTPTdBs84— Mykelti Wayne (@_milkywayne) November 8, 2017
The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good toddler with a bullet-proof backpack, apparently.— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 9, 2017
America, this is where you have to pause and think to yourself “If my kid needs a bulletproof backpack, maybe it is time ban assault weapons”— SeanRW (@sean_rw) November 8, 2017
This is not a "solution" this is companies stoking parents' fears for a dollar. Children don't have their backpacks on during class. What you're going to do is freak out a lot of kids walking around fearing an attack every day because of the reminder of a bulletproof backpack— melinda (@melindacapecod) November 9, 2017
Omg, what is this country coming to?😢 Can you imagine the look of horror on our kids faces when We Parents/Teachers having to explain to them about it? “Ok kids, if a bad man has a gun & points it at you, make sure you use your bullet proof backpack to shield you!” Im ANGRY!— ssanchez (@chenysan_15) November 9, 2017
What do you think about this school's decision to provide bulletproof backpacks at a cost?