It is shocking how commonplace school shootings have become in recent years. 2018 was the worst year on record, with a total of 110 shooting incidents in schools, which averaged to more than two per week. As of the end of September 2019, there have been 67 school shootings. Every occurrence of a school shooting is a tragedy. There is a growing demand from an outraged nation to do more about school security. But what is the best course of action? Some argue for tighter gun control laws. Others want tighter security controls at school entrances and armed officers in the building. Yet others call for more active shooter training and drills. And some anxious parents have turned to a product none of us ever thought would be needed: The bulletproof backpack.
As a society, there are some tough choices we must make to protect the safety of students, teachers, and school administrators from the constant threat of gun violence. What we absolutely cannot afford to do is nothing. There is far too much at stake.
Safer Schools with Bulletproof Tables
Here at Creative Industries, we’ve noticed an increasing number of customers looking to boost the security of their facilities, and that includes schools. One product line that has been in higher demand recently is bullet-resistant furniture. To meet this demand, we started off with an initial product that can help protect both teachers and students in the classroom: the bulletproof desk. The idea for this product came from a teacher – one who happens to be married to Creative Industries co-owner Mike Clark.
Our product designers started with a basic school desk and modified it as follows:
- The desk is reinforced with fiberglass, typically with one piece, on the front and/or the top of the table.
- Plastic laminate is then applied to the bullet resistant fiberglass.
These bullet-resistant desks act not only as a protective shield but also offer a place to hide. Now imagine having similar modifications made to every table in a school, including tables in classrooms, the cafeteria, even conference and meeting rooms. Creative Industries can also make desktops that can withstand the AR-15, which has become very important to utilize in schools everywhere in case of a mass shooting. Bulletproof tables add a vital form of protection to boost school security and the safety of students, teachers, and administrative staff. Flipping a table over and crouching behind it in the cafeteria during an active shooter incident could mean the difference between life and death.
A Wide Range of Bullet Resistant Products from Creative Industries
The fact that sales of bulletproof solutions for schools are on the rise is a sad state of affairs. But there have been 345 school shooting incidents since 2014. The products we design and manufacture at Creative Industries products can go a long way towards not only providing real protection against active shooters but also give students and teachers greater peace of mind knowing these kinds of products have been put in place to make them safer.
In addition to the bulletproof desk and bullet resistant tables, we make and install a diverse range of bullet-resistant windows featuring bulletproof glass. Learn more about How to Keep Schools Safe with Bulletproof Glass on our website. It also makes sense to incorporate bulletproof doors to further enhance school safety and security in the face of the constant threat of gun violence.
New Directions in School Safety to Counter Active Shooters
At least states have passed laws requiring active shooter drills and training in schools, and several more states are considering such legislation. Making sure students, teachers, and staff know what to do during a school shooting seems like a sensible approach. And yet there is pushback, including personal experiences and emerging anecdotal evidence that shows many school children and youth are experiencing trauma caused by the active shooter drills. It’s hard to know what’s effective versus what students can handle, especially given the diversity of students in terms of what they can handle emotionally with these kinds of training. You can see why opinions are divided about active shooter drills – it probably depends on what kinds of reactions to the parents are seeing in their own children.
What’s interesting is something the Secret Service, the very people in charge of protecting the president of the United States, has been saying for years: Prevention is the most effective way to reducing school shootings. They want schools to develop much more robust threat assessment strategies to identify those who are sending signals about their distress and intervene to get them the help they need before they resort to violence.
In fact, their own study of school shootings revealed that in nine out of ten cases, the shooter did in pre-identify themselves in some way. The Secret Service analyzed 41 different school shooting incidents that happened between 2008 and 2017 that weren’t related to drugs or gangs in any way. Nine out of ten times the shooter self-identified either by telling someone directly about their intentions, threatening someone, or engaging in very concerning behavior in violation of school rules (such as bringing a weapon to school).
Perhaps most concerning of all is how many of the shooting incidents they looked were committed by students while they were suspended for breaking rules or upon their return from being suspended. In other words, punishment doesn’t appear to be an effective form of prevention. Those struggling students need support, and excluding them from school can actually make matters worse. It’s also interesting to note that 80% of the perpetrators had been bullied in school, which means the overall school climate is also an important factor to track.
Regardless of what ends up being the go-to methodology to deal with active shooters, Creative Industries stands ready to provide custom solutions to schools that want a greater degree of protection available in their facilities. Please contact us for more information on how we can help!