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The result of the Newtown shooting: Bulletproof white boards

Posting in Education

As a result of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, a handheld white board for classrooms has been developed to stop a bullet fired at close range.

An armor manufacturer from Maryland, George Tunis, has developed the school products as a direct response to the latest school shooting, USA Today reports. The hand-held white boards serve not only as a means to teach, but can be grabbed and used as a shield in times of need.

Derived from solutions developed for the Department of Defense, the white boards -- which also come in the form of a clipboard -- are 18 x 20 inches across and weight 3.75 pounds, manufactured by Tunis' firm Hardwire. Without having any "psychological impact" on students, in case of emergency the white boards can be used to protect a head or torso. Each white board has three rubberized handles for additional grip. The white boards are crafted from a very strong, polyethylene-based material called Dyneema.

Tunis told USA Today:

"It's something I don't think any American can tolerate anymore, and we're in a position to do something about it. Teachers are not first responders, but sometimes they're thrust into that role."

How this would fare in a situation where there are multiple targets is unknown, but at the least, it is some form of defense which could buy time -- although it's saddening that our classrooms may have to be armored in order for education professionals and students to be safe.

The CEO of Hardwire has donated 90 of the white boards to the school his children attend, each worth $300. Although the Headmaster, Barry Tull, did not mention any particular training for the teachers at the 525-student strong school, he did tell the publication:

"We're very grateful to receive them. The products he has provided for us, I have been able to (provide) widespread layered protection throughout all the buildings on our campus. I've had teachers say, every layer we add, it just makes people feel fundamentally a bit more secure."

(via USA Today)

Image credit: Hardwire

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— By on January 23, 2013, 8:47 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure