It's no secret that school shootings are a big issue in the United States today. As Vox reported in May, 2018 is already outpacing 2017 in the number of school shootings, and we're only around halfway through the year. Understandably, this reality has left both kids and their parents feeling worried, and now that back-to-school season is here, some parents have started adding a surprising item to their shopping list for their children: bulletproof backpacks.
Although bulletproof backpacks aren't a new concept, they're becoming more popular. Guard Dog Security and BulletBlocker, two makers of bulletproof backpacks in the $200 range, told HuffPo back in February that their book bag sales have actually risen after mass shootings. Joe Curran, the owner of BulletBlocker—which sells bulletproof backpacks designed specifically for students—told WorkingMother.com that since the Florida shooting in February, he's seen sales increase by 200 percent over the last year. In addition to the backpacks, he says he's had to introduce other items to meet the demands of customers. "Many schools do not allow backpacks into the classroom so we created bulletproof notebooks, 3-ring binder inserts, clothing items and seat cushions," he said.
Samantha MacPherson, marketing assistant and coordinator for Guard Dog Security, a company that has its ballistic protection built into the backpacks, told WorkingMother.com via email, "There is a heightened demand for our backpacks based upon current event trends, more specifically after incidents of public shootings ... The demand has been year round, but we do notice spikes in back-to-school and holiday seasons."
And on Twitter, it looks like more parents are thinking about getting bulletproof backpacks for the new school year as well. Here's what some moms have been saying about the controversial item on the social media platform.
Many felt sad that these types of backpacks are becoming more of a thing, since they're a reminder of how often school shootings take place in our country.
Others were upset, and felt that there must be a better alternative for keeping kids safe.
Some moms expressed interest in purchasing the bags for their kids—or said they bought them already.
But even more heartbreaking, some revealed their kids actually requested bulletproof backpacks to take to school.
These types of bags aren't the only things people are turning to in hopes of keeping their kids safe in school. As the New York Post reported, one mom purchased a GPS tracker that attaches to her kid's shoe that costs her $99 just for the device, plus a $10 monthly fee. And one dad bought a metal device that latches to a door's jamb to prevent entry, for his wife, a teacher, to use at school.
This article originally appeared on Working Mother.
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