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Bulletproof blankets sales beat ‘wildest expectations’ [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-6-13 03:04:32 |Display all floors
June 12, 2014

In the wake of dozens of school shootings over the last year and a half, many schools and parents have decided to turn to bulletproof school supplies in order to save children from unexpected disasters, most recently embracing  beefed-up blankets.

                  According to the Huffington Post, an item called the Bodyguard  Blanket has not even been available to purchase for two weeks,  but sales for ProTecht’s product are incredibly strong. In fact,  the company’s managing partner, Stan Schone, stated the safety  device has already “far exceeded our wildest expectations.”


  "We have been contacted by several private and public schools  that have shown great interest and by many concerned parents  wanting to purchase them as well," he told the Post in an  email. "Private sales have been very spirited and far greater  than anticipated."

  Originally designed as a way to offer students more protection in  the event of a tornado, the $1,000 blanket resembles a padded mat  with straps that can be worn like a backpack. The blanket is  5/16-inch thick and covers a student’s entire backside. When a  child ducks and covers, the pad is strong enough to protect users  from 9mm bullets as well as falling debris like metal shards and  nails.


  The Bodyguard Blanket is just the latest in a line of bulletproof  school supplies by various manufacturers, many of which see sales  spike following school shootings. Following the Sandy Hook  massacre, for example, the Washington Post reported sales of  bulletproof backpacks and other supplies doubled or tripled, in  some cases rising more than 500 percent.


  As noted by NBC News, events like the Sandy Hook massacre and the  Virginia Tech shooting have lingered in the minds of schools, and  they have proven willing to spend money in order to protect their  students.


  Yet for schools that, on average, the National Center for  Education Statistics says spent about $11,000 per student as of  2010-11, adding $1,000 each is a significant expense. For  ProTecht’s Schone and Steve Walker, the Bodyguard Blanket may not  be able to deliver all the benefits of safe rooms or tornado  shelters, but they are still cheaper alternatives for  institutions short on money.


  “By no means would we ever say that this is more  protective,” Walker said to the Oklahoman. “But when you  have budget constraints, this might be a viable  alternative.”

  That sentiment is not shared by many safety experts, however.  With so many products on the market – bulletproof whiteboards,  binders, even pencils – school safety consultant Ken Trump from  Ohio argues they are taking time and money away from establishing  much better safety procedures.


  "It may be well-intended but it’s not well thought-out,"  Trump told NBC. "I would ask this question: If you need a  bulletproof backpack, wouldn't the child also need a bulletproof  front pack and a helmet and a Captain America shield?"
  Trump, along with Michael Dorn of the school safety group Safe  Havens International and Gregory Thomas of Alan Thomas Security,  also said that that enhancing school drills and investing in  prevention would go much further than purchasing bulletproof  objects.


  "In the past five years we’ve seen draconian cuts to school  security and emergency planning programs," Trump added to  NBC.


  "Schools have limited resources and they ought to use that  money very wisely, put it into an additional school psychologist  or a school police officer, train your staff and work with first  responders. The most valuable school security tools are  invisible."


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