Designed by the company Hardwire LLC, which also makes defense equipment for the U.S. military, the 18-by 20 inch boards students and faculty use primarily as visual aids but that the company says can "buy time" if there's an active shooter situation by offering a temporary shield for bullets.
"Classroom safety is not a pleasant topic," UMES President Juliette B. Bell said. "Unfortunately, campus violence is a reality that we have to be prepared for, and this technology allows us to be proactive rather than reactive. We appreciate and applaud Hardwire for its innovative adaptation of this technology to potentially save lives."
Hardwire founder George Tunis said the bulletproof boards aren't meant to protect entirely against a gunman but could give students and faculty the time they need to escape or wait for police to arrive.
They are "similar to a fire extinguisher, which buys time for the fire department," he said.
"The Bulletproof Whiteboard is a tool that buys time until the police arrive in an active shooter incident."