Local parents react to sending students to school with bulletproof backpacks

Local parents react to sending students to school with bulletproof backpacks
Source: CBS
Source: CBS
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Local parents are weighing in on how to keep children safe, saying providing their child with a bulletproof backpack would be a great start.

"It's terrifying and saddening. As a parent, you feel for them, cause that could be your kid," said mother of two Marlene Tafoya.

In the wake of a shooting at a Florida high school, many parents across the nation are searching for a way to protect their kids.

One industry that is seeing a boom in response is the online sale of bulletproof backpacks.

Sales have skyrocketed, with one company reporting a 30% spike.

If you visit Amazon.com, bulletproof backpacks made by the company GuardDog are sold out.

Tafoya said even providing the smallest level of extra protection for students is worth while. It's like a security blanket.

"I feel like if there's a way for us to better protect our kids, there's one less thing to fear cause they know they have something that's gonna help protect them," said Tafoya.

The average cost of a bulletproof backpack is $150. Some backpacks can even cost as much as $500.

One problem that is appearing however, not all parents can afford bulletproof backpacks.

Tafoya said a plan should be put in place to help alleviate the cost for parents.

"I would love it if that was more available or more cost friendly for some of those parents," said Tafoya. "To [create] a plan where we could get some of those into every kid's hand [would be great], because you never know where it's going to happen."

Kelley Lesley, a father with kids in high school said he would enjoy a way to lower the cost or for them to be subsidized.

"My kids go to Bushland [High School]. The school supplies laptops for them, so maybe they can supply bulletproof backpacks as well," said Lesley.

Most bulletproof backpacks on the market are classified with a Level IIIA rating.

A Level IIIA rating ensures the backpack can stop a bullet traveling at rate of 1,400 fps (feet per second). Sub machine guns like the one used in the deadly Florida high school shooting fire at that velocity.

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Lesley however, is still skeptical. He is asking the question: What happens if the shooter approaches from an angle the backpack can't protect?

Lesley believes that would mean the backpack would not be resourceful in certain situations.

"90% of the kids have a locker. Backpacks are in a locker, or if it is in a [classroom] it's down on the floor," said Lesley. "If they're able to grab it, and stick it in front of them, I think it'll help a lot. But, walking down the hallway and it's on their back, and the shooter comes [from] in the front, [will they be] able to spin around that fast."

Some parents say a school shooting is why they chose to home school their kids.

Other parents say the fear of school shooting is standard in today's world. The fear of sending your kid to school is equivalent to the fear of getting hit by a drunk driver when behind the wheel of a car.

"It's sad that it's happening but it's going to keep happening. There's no way to stop it 100%, but that's life I guess."

From students to parents, the shooting at a high school in Florida has left people across the nation rattled.

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