The impact of a school shooting can be devastating. Therefore, it is more important than ever to create a plan for protecting students in the event of one. Gun violence, in the United states, is a threat, with mass shootings increasing from a total of 273 back in 2014 to 632 in 2023. If these figures are not worrying enough, between 2020 to 2023, these shootings have totalled to over 600 on a yearly basis.¹ Thus, their average can be rounded to around two events occurring daily. Although these statistics may seem alarming, they demonstrate the necessity of applying security measures to enhance school safety. One security solution utilized as a means of protection is bulletproof glass. Read on to discover the overall effectiveness of bulletproof glass for schools.

What is Bulletproof Glass?

When applying bulletproof glass, the aim is to create a barrier offering a level of defense against bullets or ballistics. Better defined as bullet-resistant glass, its defensive capabilities come from its many layers. These layers have varying levels of hardness. Usually, the glass outer layer is hard, while the inner layer, created from plastic materials such as polycarbonate, is soft. When the outer layer is hit, the impact force is moved sideways and travels over the glass’ layers. At the same time, the inner layer is flexible enough to take in the energy that is left over. Together, these layers help distribute the kinetic energy of a ballistic. They are able to reduce its speed to ensure it cannot pierce the glass’ structure. Moreover, as these ballistic glass products have a laminated design, if the glass is hit, spalling will not occur. Not only does this offer protection against the creation of any debris, as the broken glass will remain fixed in one place, but it can deliver further defense against forced entry, such as an aggressor using physical force.

The Advantages of Bulletproof Glass in Schools

Teachers and pupils deserve to feel safe when they enter a school building. Bulletproof glass can offer this peace of mind, helping them to undertake their daily activities in a place that has security measures established to protect them. The benefits of using bulletproof glass for schools include:

Increased Security

One of the main advantages of bulletproof glass is its ability to act as a shield against projectiles. When applied to doors or windows, it can stop most bullets from being fired into a room. Therefore, bulletproof glass can be applied as a robust barrier that can defend people from harm.

Additional Time

Unfortunately, bulletproof glass is not completely impervious to all projectiles. However it can ensure the aggressor cannot quickly access an area. This barrier can create a delay to help people escape or move away from the potential threat.

Transparent Design

The design and appearance of security products for schools are just as important as their effectiveness. Bulletproof glass is a material known for its strength, however it is also transparent. Other strong materials, like concrete, can offer protection, but a reduced aesthetic. For buildings, like schools, the transparency of bulletproof glass helps students to have a clear image of the external world, something that can improve productivity, as well as a view of any potential threats. The glass’ transparency can also help it to fit with the aesthetic of the school.

Ensuring The Effectiveness of Bulletproof Glass Through Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Levels

The difficulty with selecting bulletproof glass for schools is understanding how thick the glass should be, and whether it offers the right amount of protection. With additional thickness comes greater effectiveness, and thus more of a defense against stronger attacks and weapons. However, these types of bulletproof glass can also be more expensive.

To understand which category of bulletproof glass could be the most effective for a school, UL levels exist. These levels classify how well the glass can defend against a specific projectile. The lowest levels, from 1-3, are extremely useful as a shield against handguns, therefore they can be utilized in:

  • Shops
  • Banks
  • Gas Stations.

Mid-high range levels, 4-10, can be used to offer protection against rifles. They are the strongest levels of bulletproof glass and can be utilized in military affairs. For instance, this glass can be applied as a shield against a number of projectiles, including from military-grade rifles.

Which UL Level of Bulletproof Glass Is Most Effective for Schools?

The effectiveness of bulletproof glass depends upon the types of threats it may encounter when installed. For a school, level 3 may be enough to offer protection against potential shootings, for example against handguns, the use of which accounts for over 85% of these events.² However, the final selection of bulletproof glass will depend on how much resilience is required, as well as how much can be spent upon it. Schools that require additional protection may want to invest in bulletproof glass at level 4 or 5. This glass can be placed in windows and doors, however it will cost more. Base the selection on the needs of the school and how much security is necessary.

Combining Bulletproof Glass With Other Forms of Security

Bulletproof glass is an excellent material for shielding teachers and their pupils. However it is most effective when utilized with other forms of security. Installing metal detectors and security cameras can act as preventative measures for stopping an incident before it occurs. Additionally, undertaking drills and training can help people know what to do if a shooting does take place. By including a variety of protective procedures, people entering the school can feel confident their safety is being prioritized.

Put Your School’s Safety First with Bulletproof Windows from Armortex

No one should be forced to endure the suffering that occurs after a school shooting. Pupils should feel safe in a school and know it is a place where they can flourish and learn. Incorporating bulletproof glass is a way of introducing additional security for schools. It offers an effective barrier against threats when the protection is needed most. We, Armortex, have a range of products that incorporate bulletproof glass, including our bulletproof windows. Visit our website and discover how we can help you shield your school in the event of a school shooting. The safety of your staff and pupils are all that matter. Utilize bulletproof glass in your school and make sure they are defended.


  1. How many US mass shootings have there been in 2023? BBC. Published 7th December 2023. Accessed 17th June 2024.
  2. Rose Weldon. Most guns used in school shootings come from family members. Healio. Published 4th December 2023. Accessed 17th June 2024.