School security today is practically unrecognizable from that of little over a decade ago. Installing metal detectors and bulletproof glass in our schools would have seemed unnecessary in the early- to mid-90s. However, that preconception was challenged on April 20th, 1990: the day of the Columbine High School Shooting.
Columbine was not the first and it is no longer the deadliest school shooting in America’s history, but it remains one of the most infamous. It inspired a spate of copycat crimes and is often cited as a fundamental stepping stone to the grim reality we face today. This tragic event alone suggests that schools should be equipped with bulletproof glass. The question really should be; is bulletproof glass enough to ensure the security of our schools?
Bulletproof Glass and Other School Security Products
The threat of school shootings has turned bulletproof school security into a multi-billion dollar industry. According to data compiled by market research firm IHS Markit, the market topped $2.7 billion in 2017 alone , a year in which 18 people were killed during school shooting incidents. The following year, this figure rose to 60.
School districts have adopted a range of preventative methods to protect pupils and faculty members from armed individuals, whether they are outsiders or their own pupils. Metal detectors are widely considered to be one of the safest ways of preventing active shooter scenarios. Drilling pupils and staff members is also now common practice. Yet increasing numbers of schools are turning to bulletproof glass and ballistic resistant architectural paneling to provide a level of physical security if preventative measures are not enough.
Bulletproof glass can be installed in entryways, in classrooms, in hallways, and within doorframes. They can be engineered to a range of ballistics specifications and tested to Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) standards. This provides a measure of protection that was previously impossible. Advanced bulletproof glass can withstand multiple impacts from high caliber projectiles and can be integrated into complex structures such as safe rooms and shelters.
There is a great deal of white noise in the school security sector, with entrepreneurs and consultants reaching out to school districts with various solutions and preventative products. While specialist training and bulletproof backpacks may help shore up school district security and provide a measure of peace of mind, the benefits are untested, and the price is often significant. While we agree that you cannot put a price on the safety of our children in school, districts want to guarantee that they are rising to the threat of school shootings in the most effective manner possible.
This demands a holistic approach to school security. The simple fact is that no one product is sufficient to protect our children at school in the modern age, and while bulletproof glass offers a significant measure of security, they are best implemented alongside additional products and robust training protocols.
School Security with Armortex
Armortex is one of the leading suppliers of bullet and blast resistant products in the U.S. We understand the ethical and cost difficulties associated with improving school security and are committed to absolute transparency when it comes to equipping your school district with ballistic resistant products.