MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - You may come across the word “bulletproof” while shopping in the back-to-school section this year. Stores are selling a product designed to protect students from gunfire, right next to the school supplies.
Bulletproof backpacks, made by the company Guard Dog Security, are being sold in stores like Office Max in Myrtle Beach. The backpacks, ranging anywhere from $100 to $300, are protected with lightweight armor and weigh almost the same as an average backpack.
According to the company, the bulletproof backpacks can stop a bullet from a .44 Magnum and 9mm handguns.
Some parents say it’s sad to see the need for such a product. Others believe it provides greater peace of mind.
“With the smaller children you would have to take time to talk about it to them and encourage them if somebody decides to come in, if they have their book bag next to them, that they would be able to grab it and put it in front of their face or whatever area," said Jackie Wilson.
While they’re meant to add an extra layer of protection, one local therapist believes it could have a negative effect on children by causing them to have high anxiety and constantly worry about their safety.
“Having bulletproof backpacks is going to put the thought in children’s minds that they haven’t been thinking about before that they have to be fearful of their surroundings. It could cause them to constantly be hyper-vigilant and always wondering if something bad’s going to happen to them in school, " said Sandra Quast, owner of Coastal Haven Counseling.
Some parents also worry about the effectiveness of the backpacks, saying if they aren’t near the children, students wouldn’t be able to shield themselves from gunfire.