The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (UMES), in an effort to better protect students, staff and teachers in the event of a school shooting, are buying 200 bulletproof whiteboards to be used in college classrooms, according to an August 17 report from CNN.
The technology used in the bulletproof whiteboards is the same technology used to protect U.S. soldiers in the battlefield.
The whiteboards are being purchased from Hardwire LLC, headquartered in Pocomoke City, Md., a company who feels that the boards are essential classroom security tools considering the “deadly mass shootings in recent years.”
According to its company website:
Hardwire manufactures a variety of protective systems for police and military use, and also designs protective systems for infrastructure such as bridges. Between 2008 and 2011, it produced more than 5,000 armor kits for U.S. Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
Hardwire has adapted its battlefield technology for use in the classroom, offering “lightweight, 18-by-20-inch bulletproof whiteboards designed to protect the user's head and torso.”
UMES’ president, Juliette Bell, said that last years’ Newtown shooting massacre where lone gunman Adam Lanza broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and shot and killed 20 children and six adults, was a major factor in the college’s decision to employ the protective whiteboards.
"It's the reality, as unfortunate as that is."
"Anything that we can do that could potentially save a life, we are going to explore," she said.
UMES' Campus Police Chief Ernest Leatherbury added that the lightweight whiteboards are user-friendly and not cumbersome.
The bulletproof whiteboards will be in place for the beginning of fall, 2013 classes at a total cost to the university of approximately $60,000.
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