“A Minnesota school district where two students were killed in a 2003 shooting unveiled a new device Tuesday aimed at adding a last-ditch layer of safety for teachers and students: bulletproof whiteboards.” Or so reports the AP via yahoo.com. So now, while the kiddies try to huddle behind their bullet-proof backpacks, the teacher can cower behind their whiteboards. So everyone will be safe.

 

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92 Responses to Finally, A Common Sense School Safety Solution

    • It’s looney, impractical fantasy ideas like this that gives rise to gun grabbing and politically correct liberal types being called…are you ready?…”Libertards”.

      Even if they aren’t really radical, extreme liberals.

      (And that’s not to say conservatives can’t also do stupid at times.)

    • I think it’s a great idea. Shields are not limited to defensive use — ask the last two thousand years worth of swordsmen who survived because they took out an opponent with a judiciously timed shield hit.

      If you’re going to charge a gunman, having a shield would be a Very Good Thing. For the slow among us, think of this as a vest that you can hold out in front of you while you and several fellow school staff press forward towards the gunman.

      • Until your legs get shot out from beneath you and you get executed.

        It’s better than nothing, but soldiers didn’t carry shields alone. They had swords for a reason.

        • I’d argue most people, least of all those mentally unhinged enough to go on a mass shooting spree, are going to be aiming below center mass.

  1. A couple layers of fiber-reinforced cement board under the drywall on each side and a fire-rated plaster-filled steel door with a big chunky deadbolt will do even better.

    Anyone know of any research or products intended for residential buildings to reduce wall penetration? Might come in handy for any HD firearm enthusiasts who’re remodeling.

  2. I guess if they make EVERY desk top out of it then they might have a fighting chance of using it… but typically the door to a classroom is near the front (which is also where the white/chalk board are) separating the students from that “protective board” 🙁

    • We must have really gone backward in desk technology. Back when I was a kid, those were rated for nuclear attack. All you had to do was duck and cover.

  3. Well, it’s a step in in the right direction. Stick a view window in it and they can see to return fire with guns they’ll be issued, right? Right? Wait…what?

    • In the schools I work in they are. Also the doors that are locked to keep intruders out have windows right next to the door handles. Some classes have floor to cieling glass windows right next to the locked doors. No fences or gates. I can go on, but you get the picture.

      The people pushing the gun control issue know that it won’t protect the kids. They don’t care. They see a chance to drive one more nail into the coffin of civil rights.

    • Wouldn’t you want something like this to be mounted on a wall clip so you could lift it off for use as a shield?

      Seems pretty unlikely that any school outside of Sidwell Friends will be getting the full Level III Whiteboard installation any time soon.

  4. So when you go to massacre a bunch of people in a gun free zone dont forget to bring a couple three molotovs or a pipe bomb or two with you.

    The longer the attacker lives the more damage can be done regardless of how many layers of steel you cower under and that’s the one problem so few seem willing to address.

    • They’re not willing. Because, to them, guns are icky and no possible good can ever come from one. Been downhill since the days of cave men.

  5. You guys aren’t thinking tactically. You’re imagining people hiding behind it. You have something bullet proof, and so far from what I’ve seen no mass shooter has ever been buff.

    Tear it off the wall, throw it against the door, and sit there until the cops come.

    The shooter can’t shoot through the door to you and then push your dead body aside, he can shoot out the glass in the door and unlock it, but he still has a large bullet proof white board with 110-300 pounds of angry school teacher behind it, possibly even more if its a Junior high or high school and there is like a giant line backer in the room. After maybe 30 seconds of trying to do it he will probably move on to easier targets. People stuck in hall ways would be screwed but it does block off a room that literally is nothing more than a tiny room full of kids ready to be shot.

    • Those are good creative ideas.
      On glass breaking, aren’t most school windows made with that wire mesh in the glass that inhibits intrusion even if the glass is hit and shards fall off? Maybe not. Stronger window material is always an option though. Some of you could price that better than I could; I don’t know how feasible it is.

      • Wire-glass used to be common, but these days tempered glass is much cheaper, lighter, and serves its purpose — which is to resist breakage under ordinary use and shatter into relatively harmless bits if broken — so well that you almost never see wired glass anymore.

        Laminated glass (as in car windshields) is always an option. I’ve seen it used in doors and windows before. The problem with putting it in door glass is that although it’s shatterproof, it’s fairly brittle; an accidental impact that wouldn’t faze tempered glass will put an unsightly (though not unsafe) crack in a laminated sheet.

        If schools really were serious about improving their buildings’ passive safety features, they’d be installing wire glass and laminated glass wherever breaking in is a possibility. And in new construction, *never* put a pane of glass right next to a doorknob.

    • This is the point, David, I agree. At the VA Tech shooting a professor who was a Holocaust survivor barricaded the door with his body so his students could escape. The gunman shot him through the door. Something like this would have prevented lethal through-the-door wounds.

      I don’t see a problem with it, so long as it’s part of a layered defense system. As a layer, this is fine and welcome. As The Solution, it’s clearly inadequate. Gunmen who cannot get into classrooms and cannot shoot through the door cannot kill people inside the classroom, period. Locks and heavy doors are great ideas, this can only help.

      As firearms enthusiasts, our natural solution is to put a round in the gunman’s head (and maybe another one, just to be sure), tac reload and scan for secondary threats. But if some hoplophobe wanna-be gun-grabbing teacher cannot do anything more than grab the whiteboard, smack it against the door and sit down behind it to block the door, they’re finally doing something useful in one of these situations.

      • That’s what I was thinking. There probably aren’t a lot of first grade teachers willing and able to double tap a school shooter in the brain pan, but there are probably thousands willing to sit in front of a bullet proof white board and keep the shooter from getting in.

  6. “Common Sense”?

    Hah! How ’bout practical, logical “sense” is not so “common”.

    This “common sense” approach hardly makes “sense” at all!

  7. Nice.

    To answer another commentator’s questions, not all white boards are bolted to the wall. I have a set of kid-sized whiteboards along with a “grown up size” white board that we use for math practice, vocabulary work, etc.

    It’s not a weapon, but hey… at least it’s bulletproof. In an emergency, kids could throw in their backpack, and wear their backpack as a makeshift vest while escaping.

    • The impact shock of a hit will likely knock it out of the holders hand, or cause them to let go and drop it!

      • It’s as simple as this: the shooter shoots whiteboard cowerer in the ankle or foot. Not much a kid can do once’s he’s been taken down and rendered immobile.

        I hate to say it, but I guess you really CAN’T fix stupid.

      • Why does everybody assume that the only use is purely cowering/defensive?

        Has everyone forgotten about the multiple adults who lost their lives charging TOWARD the shooter in Newtown with no more protection than their work clothing?

        • Alpha, if they intended to arm teachers with an offensive weapon, a bullet proof whiteboard would be far down the list of possibilities.

          I agree this could be used effectively as an offensive weapon, but the kind of people that dream this up simply don’t have that kind of mindset. If they did, they would be pushing to arm themselves instead of thinking of new and improved ways to hide.

  8. Might help. What would work better is exploring solutions to keeping mass murder kooks out of schools. Like, I don’t know, having armed adults at the school.

    • It says, “there is NO WAY we’re going for the armed teacher (principal, guard) thing, PERIOD. Here, have a band-aid instead. NO GUNS in OUR schools, crazed shooters excepted. And because we’re wishing SO HARD for safety, it’s all gonna be cool.”

  9. Sheesh…

    Alrighty folks, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    If you find yourself in a gun-free death zone and an active shooter comes along with devilish-intentions: THROW STUFF!

    That that bullet-proof (and probably hefty…) whiteboard, flip it sideways, and fling it like a frisbee. Grab your laptop, grab your iPads, throw them, grab your backpacks, grab your books, grab your purses, grab anything that isn’t bolted down to the ground, and throw it.

    If you’re in the grocery store, and someone starts shooting, grab a tin can from your cart or off the shelf, and throw it! Pick up a wine glass and throw it: Cut glass hurts! And keep throwing things until a good guy with a gun shows up! Ram the S.O.B with carts!

    If you’re in a parking lot, run him over with your car. If you’re in a library use the books and the desktop computers in front of you! Shove a bookcase down on the S.O.B.!

    If you’re on a beach, pick up rocks or driftwood, and throw them in the S.O.B.’s direction.

    You’d be surprised how many (fairly dangerous) weapons are sitting around you right now.

    Think about this: How many shots do YOU think you could get off with all the objects sitting around you right right flying towards your head/chest? How accurate do you think your shots will be in that situation if half a dozen purses, iphones, ipads, laptops, books, tin cans came heading your way?

    I’d rather have the bad guy miss a shot, as that’s one less shot that’ll hit me, and another innocent bystander.

    If you’re caught with your pants down in a gun-free death zone, just keep your cool, and start throwing things. That’s what we should be teaching our kids, and that’s what I was taught.

    • How many shots do YOU think you could get off with all the objects sitting around you right right flying towards your head/chest?

      Enough to kill everyone I see. That’s how many.

    • Yep. This is definitely in my plan, and I’m teaching my kids, too.

      The natural reflex is to either duck or put up a hand to deflect or catch whatever has been thrown at you. If you can’t throw lead at the bad guy, you darn well better throw *something*. Even if it only gains you one second, that’s a lot better than none — it might be enough to find cover, escape, or attack.

  10. I want to see one of these yahoo idea men hold it while it is being fired at.

    Like the original bullet-proof vest dude. Put your ass where your mouth is!

  11. Can they be strapped to your arms and legs? Both are home to major arteries. if they had 2 holes about 3 inches apart you could protect your head as well, provided they came with a strap.

    The dumbest idea since ” Just go out on the front porch and fire 2 blasts. Get a shotgun, get a shotgun!.”

    Anything but self protection.

  12. Knights carried swords and maces with their shields. Where is the offensive weapon to go with the defensive one?

    These white boards probably can only take 5 hits before they are completely shattered. I am totally guessing on that one.

  13. Interesting idea but most schools I have ever been in have cinder block for inside walls, not sure how much they can take though.

  14. I guess its okay. Doesn’t seem to address the problem though. I guess they are supposed to just stand there and let the shooter empty all his magazines in the whiteboard? Probably wouldn’t even stop a rifle round. An emergency gun next to the emergency fire extinguisher would be better. Teacher could run up to it – it could scan her thumb – gun releases and she’s ready to go.

    • “… it could scan her thumb – gun releases and she’s ready to go.”

      No, to great a chance of failure, could add time to acquire gun when time is the most precious of elements.

      A numeric pin-pad would be OK as long as the number wasn’t more than four or five digits and didn’t change too often.

      The best bet is a box with “Break Glass” like the fire extinguishers have. Add a wire or something so the second the glass is broken or the gun is pulled an alarm goes off somewhere and automatically calls local law officers.

      The absolute best bet is to get rid of the gun-free BS and let those who already are certified/permitted/trained/interested in carrying firearms actually carry a firearm. As has been said over and over again the quickest way to shut down a spree-shooter is to return fire.

  15. Oh, now I see how the liberals think. Guns in schools for self-defense are bad, but bulletproof whiteboards are good. So, it must be something that has a double use. Hmmmm…let’s see:

    Provide schools with guns that have laser sights on them. Give them to teachers and they can double as laser pointers during class instruction.

    Or….

    Issue revolvers where the cylinder can also double as a pencil holder.

    The possibilities are endless!

  16. Yes, give all the kids bullet proof white boards, and a grease pencil so that can write a goodbye to their mommies and daddies. Because if all that people are going to do to keep kids safe is give them white boards, then all the kids are going to die.

    What’s past “full retard?” I suggest “whiteboard retard.”

  17. I want to see a SWAT team use one of these for sheer WTF factor.

    On topic: Um, I’ve seen better ideas. Seen worse ones, too. At least it’s something different, a bit of lateral thinking. Ideal, no, but it’s a start.

    • The possibility for ‘acquiescence due to riotous laughter’ intrigues me.

      I can see it know…

      “Johhny, we gotta give up, there’s a dozen copper here!”

      “Yeah and they’re holding grocery lists, and crudely drawn flowers, and stick figures, and doesn’t that one have a goofy peniz drawing on it? Bwah ha ha! I give, I give!”

  18. well, i agree this will not STOP an attack. At best it will slow it down. I am not sure this would be rated above a 9mm so I doubt it would stop a .223 or higher caliber. Does that mean its a bad idea? no. Every little bit helps. Maybe the kids could use it as extra cover, maybe it could be used as cover to rush an assailant. Saying we shouldn’t have it because its not perfect is like saying I should not have dogs or motion activated lights because they will not stop a determined assailant. Of course they wont. Every layer of a layered defense helps. Is it better to have this or a gun? well, both duh. But if i cannot have one, i’d still like the other.

    • “Absorbs multiple magazines of ammunition from any handgun or shotgun without ricochet or injury.” Sounds like an AR-15 would make it worthless, and at $300 each, could get very expensive. But still better than nothing.

      • $300 each? Now I get it! I can’t believe I missed it before!

        1. Invent something stupid.
        2. Pass a law that requires it in every classroom–for the children!
        3. Sell it for $300
        4. Laugh all the way to the bank.

  19. Why don’t they just invent a force field to envelop the whole room thereby stopping all bullets at the door. Oh, wait, thats very impractical and expensive. Sure, it would be cheaper and make more sense to just train teachers to defend themselves with guns but we are in fantasy land after all and the money is only taxpayer money, not real money.

  20. All they are proving is that even people who are against guns in schools KNOW that there will be guns in schools whether they want them or not. Else why would they be designing these things?

    • That’s a really good observation.

      They are wasting a lot of time and resources with these whiteboards when all they really have to do is put up a Gun-Free Zone sticker on the door.

      No guns allowed, no shootings. What could be simpler?

  21. What friggin’ nonsense. look at the size of these things. cover your chest, your legs get shot. how many bullets can most people handle anywhere in their bodies before the pain makes ’em change position? Furthermore, let’s look at the cost, likely several hundred dollars each, so who are gonna be the “lucky” ones to get a hold of the likely very few that will be available? Remember, even small town schools have scores of employees and hundreds of students- Oh, lookie teacher is ok, but students get shot. The myriad scenarios that can play out while the politicos make a feel good move with these little boards are just mind-blowing. But “if we can save just one child”….that’s about all that WILL be saved, while all the rest die……common sense?

    • Well I have to reply given my screen name and all.

      I like the white board idea as part of a multi-layered approach only. It absolutely does NOT remove the need for armed staff, citizens, and/or police in the schools.

      I think a far superior approach is to place break-action single shot 20 gauge shotguns in most classrooms — with a serious locking mechanism of course. Make the lock require a staff member plus three more people (students of any age or otherwise) to unlock. This stops a teacher who “flips out” from unlocking the thing themselves and shooting students. Additionally, if someone did somehow circumvent the locking mechanism, they cannot go on much of a shooting spree with a single shot, break-action shotgun. But an outside spree killer would be hard pressed to accomplish much of anything if almost every classroom contained a single-shot shotgun.

      For that matter, to absolutely make a teacher-gone-crazy mass shooting impossible with those classroom shotguns, lock or spot-weld them closed after loading. That way a rampaging teacher will have nothing more than a fancy club after the first shot because it will be impossible to reload.

      This isn’t rocket science. The system I described above provides almost every teacher the means to shoot back at a spree killer … and yet it makes it almost impossible for a teacher to simply flip-out and kill a student. And spot-welding the shotgun closed after loading makes it absolutely impossible for a teacher (who somehow managed to circumvent the locking system) to shoot more than one victim.

      Problem solved.

  22. This is not a perfect solution, clearly, but I have read many, many times on this site that any gun is better than no gun. As an educator, I’d rather my students have these than nothing. Legs are, of course still vulnerable, but the are harder to hit than a torso.

  23. “In the unlikely event of a water landing, your seat cushion may be used as a floatation device…”

  24. Let’s just go ahead and accept the fact that they will never allow teachers to defend our kids with firearms or any other useful tool.

    Having settled that, if you need ballistic protection, you need a real ballistic shield, not a half-assed approach playing dress-up as a white board. It’s really cute and all, but we’re talking about saving kids and answering to parents.

    Get a man-sized shield with a window in it like riot police have.

    At the very least, get serious.

  25. What about a Columbine situation where you have students being shot at while running?

    Most of you are looking at this as an end all be all, as if you’ve lost the ability to think outside the box and only in the chamber.

    Even if you have armed guards and armed teachers in a school, what harm is it to have something that doubles as a barrier between life and death when the unthinkable happens? Even if this covers 20-25% of a body, that’s better than nothing when you’re running for your life.

    As they say, it’s a last ditch layer. Something you hope you never have to use.

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