Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Pennsylvania Middle Schoolers Get Bulletproof Backpack Shields As Graduation Gifts

Pennsylvania Middle Schoolers Get Bulletproof Backpack Shields As Graduation Gifts

A day before their graduation, the 15 eighth-graders and 25 faculty members at the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, school each received a roughly 20-ounce, bullet- and stab-resistant insert that can slide into a backpack.

"I never thought I'd need this", one student said to Fox 29.

In what can be construed as a sad statement today, the entire graduating class at St. Cornelius Middle School in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, received special bulletproof backpack plates as graduation presents, as The Hill reported.

The technology is a development of other blunt force absorption and body protection pads the company makes, which includes catcher's chest shields for baseball players and upper body armor for lacrosse players, according to the company website.

Caldwell told USA TODAY that Unequal's ballistic shield is created to be "kid friendly" - the shield can be slipped into a backpack to fortify it against gunfire.

The shields seemed to represent a disheartening reality for some who attended the graduation ceremony at St. Cornelius.

Unequal Technologies, a sportswear company based in a nearby Philadelphia suburb, donated the 10-by-12-inch plates to each of the students as they prepared to break before starting high school. "Shotguns are useless against a product like this".

While bulletproof backpacks could be considered excessive by some, they're far from the most outlandish response to school shootings that have been offered in recent years.

Parents of the students expressed the same sentiments, stating the backpack unfortunately is a new necessity.

Barbara Rosini, the principal at St. Cornelius, said she first made contact with Vito regarding the panels after getting the idea during a school safety conference.

"I just wonder what this does psychologically to kids, having to, in essence, prepare for a school shooting", one MA father of three told LifeZette.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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