Schools are buying up bulletproof whiteboards, and the portable shields may soon be available in Walmart stores.
As school shootings continue with frightening frequency, local and national leaders have debated measures from gun control to arming teachers. Just last week, an unarmed bookkeeper in a Georgia school talked down a would-be shooter without the use of force, leading to further debate.
Hardwire, the company that supplies armor and armored gear to the military, has taken its bulletproof materials into the the classroom, producing armored whiteboards, clipboards and backpack boards to be used as personal shields.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore recently bought 200 using funds from a private donor. The 18x20 whiteboards weigh less than four pounds and have handles for holding the board as a shield in front of the head and body.
Priced at $299 each, the whiteboards come in multiple colors and are billed as having "no psychological impact on students."
Hardwire also makes ballistic 10x13 clipboards and 10x13 boards meant to be slipped into a child's backpack.
For $1,499 each, schools can purchase peel-and-stick bulletproof backings for classroom doors.
The company touts the whiteboard shields as being able to absorb multiple magazines of ammunition from any handgun or shotgun without ricochet.
Using the tagline "military-grade protection that blends in," Hardwire has entered its bulletproof whiteboard in Walmart's #GetOnTheShelf contest, and hopes to make the product available in stores.