The Florida Christian School in Miami-Dade County is offering parents the chance to buy a bullet-resistant plate that turns students' backpacks into potential lifesavers, according to The Miami Herald.
The Florida Christian School's head of security, George Gulla, used his experience in law enforcement to come up with new measures to keep the students safe and ease parents' fears."We want to protect our students' center mass," Gulla said.
Despite the school never having any gun-related incidents, students participate in active shooter drills where they use their backpacks to shield the front of their bodies.
Alex Cejas, a parent of one of the school's students and founder of Hialeah-based armor company Applied Fiber Concepts, partnered with Cejas to create soft body armor plates to the school's families.
The plates weigh just under a pound and slip easily into a backpack. They are designed to withstand small bullets like .44 Magnum and .357 SIG and cost $120.
Gulla said so far the reaction has been mostly positive, but some eyebrows have been raised by security professionals.
Kenneth Trump, an expert on school security called the arrangement "highly unusual."
Gulla said he sees active shooter training as one small part of a much larger security puzzle. "It's out of the norm," he said, "But what is the norm?"
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