Things have changed since the stop, drop, and roll era. Amid protests and widespread calls for gun control reform—and a dearth of political action—after the school shooting in Parkland, a Utah-based company is promoting its bulletproof shelters for classrooms.
"These shelters have been tested with every gun that has ever been used in a school shooting along with many others," the website says.
The “Shelter-In-Place” product, sold by a company by the same name, is a customizable structure—the company suggests one square foot per child—that has backup power, lighting, and security cameras. According to a promotional video, it’s an ideal safe space for shootings, but also tornadoes and hurricanes. “Deaths at school must stop now,” the company video says.
The Shelter-In-Place could shield kids within 30 seconds. And when there aren’t bullets flying around, it brightly suggests, the structure could be used for a quiet reading space or private tutoring. The cost is about $1000 per child or teacher, according to the company website. That would mean about $23,000 per classroom, given the average size of an American class.
The Oklahoma education system had already started to purchase these shelters in 2014, after the Sandy Hook school shooting. But after Parkland, the sales of these bulletproof cabins have increased dramatically, Jim Haslem, CEO of Shelter-in-Place, told The Independent.
Meanwhile, there’s a nationwide scramble for non-legislative school shooting solutions as the federal government drags its feet on gun reform. Louisiana is considering bulletproof backpacks, some Florida schools have given kids bulletproof inserts for their bags, and schools in Delaware have had bulletproof whiteboards, meant to act as shields, since 2014.
As teachers grapple with their new roles in school—protecting kids, possibly learning how to use firearms—managing a bulletproof shelter might become one more part of their jobs.
If you are aware of other products geared at preventing school shooting deaths, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org