Police in Schools

Bulletproof School?

School safety freakout


In June, legislators in Delaware floated a new "school safety" bill requiring that "whenever a new school building is constructed or a major renovation undertaken the construction or renovation must include bullet resistant white boards in each classroom." Why study Sparta when you can experience the magic of ancient Greek defensive techniques for yourself?

The language in the bill is unclear. If Delaware is only mandating one whiteboard per classroom, a teacher who grabbed it to save herself would probably have to change districts afterwards. But one board per child doesn't seem like a good solution either. The bulletproof boards aren't light, and at 18″ by 20″, they are about the size of a Candy Land game. If a child holds it over her heart, doesn't that leave her head or stomach exposed? Or at least her legs?

On Amazon, the first shield that comes up costs $400-about the price of a laptop. At that rate, a classroom's worth is around $12,000. Add a couple more classrooms and you could pay for a part-time art teacher. Or a librarian. Or even a statistics class to explain the fact that, though indisputably horrific, school shootings are so rare and random that preparing for them with a stack of Magic Marker-friendly bullet deflectors is like investing in tarantula-proofing: a lot of work and money for a dubious bump in public safety.