I-Team: Bulletproof Backpacks Put to the Test - NBC New York
I-Team InvestigationsI-Team
MORE INVESTIGATIONS, MORE ANSWERS

SEND TIPS866-news244

I-Team: Bulletproof Backpacks Put to the Test

A firearms instructor tests a bulletproof backpack

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Putting Bulletproof Backpacks to the Test

    Some parents have started buying their kids bulletproof backpacks in the wake of recent school shootings. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A family wants a law that would require schools to notify parents, not just the state education department, if their child is being bullied

    • Their 13-year-old son Jacobe Taras died by suicide after being tormented at school, and his parents want Jacobe's Law to be passed in NY

    • But there are concerns over rights of students, especially LGBTQ youth

    With the terror of school shootings lurking in the minds of parents and students, a booming industry is taking aim at parents: bulletproof backpacks are being marketed as a way to keep kids safe.

    They are sold online and at some stores. The I-Team bought one at Office Depot in Union, New Jersey, for $186. Reaction from back-to-school shoppers was mixed.

    “It’s kind of a shame where we went to as a country that you have to sell this for safety,” said Lennox Mars, a teacher and parent.

    "It’s kind of sad to know that kids even have to think about this," said educator Jodie Ramey.

    8th Graders Get Bulletproof Graduation Gift at Pa. School

    [NATL-PHI] Bulletproof Graduation Gift

    All eighth graders from St. Cornelius in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, were given a bulletproof Safe Shield insert for their backpacks as a graduation present.

    (Published Monday, June 4, 2018)

    "Instead of making a bulletproof backpack," she added, "We need to invest more in preventative stuff." 

    High school sophomore Raquel Vargas said, "If I had the money to buy one, I would." 

    The I-Team at News 4 New York's sister station in Los Angeles bought the same backpack, the Guard Dog ProShield 2, which says it will stop a 9-millimeter or 44-caliber bullet. A firearms instructor helped the I-Team put it to the test.

    The backpack did stop bullets as advertised, but when the instructor used an AR-15, a military grade weapon used in many school shootings, the bullets went through the panel of the backpack. 

    In a statement, the company said their line of backpacks are tested and rated against level IIIa standards, which excludes AR-caliber bullets.

    While the backpacks may be able to withstand bullets in a demonstration, some school security experts aren’t buying it.

    NJ Students Participate in Active Shooter Drill

    [NY] NJ Students Participate in Active Shooter Drill

    An active shooter drill like no other was held in Hoboken High School Wednesday.

    (Published Wednesday, May 23, 2018)

    "I think that it’s a false sense of security," said Paul Kissane, deputy police chief of the Fort Lee Police Department who has more than 20 years of school security experience.

    "In most drills when you’re evacuating we teach everyone to leave everything behind, so there’s a concern for that are we having children that are going back to get their backpacks in order to evacuate a building and I don’t see the logic in that," said Kissane.

    A better way to protect kids, he says, is reporting any sign of trouble at school – and practicing safety drills.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytime