School shootings: Maryland school installs armored white boards in classrooms
The recent school shootings have sparked nationwide debate over how to handle and improve school security.
In Maryland, one school added another layer of defense last week, something that blends into any classroom.
At Worcester Preparatory School on the Eastern Shore, classrooms have boards that look like white boards and function like white boards.
But they're much more. They are armor.
"We have them placed throughout our school to give added interior protection," says Headmaster Barry Tull.
After the recent school shootings, Maryland armor manufacturing company, Hardwire, created these whiteboards, using the same technology that protects military vehicles from IEDs.
"They basically take handguns out of the equation," says Hardwire CEO George Tunis. "We can certainly make them to stop any threat in the world, but what we wanted was something handheld for the teachers."
Retired Secret Service agent John Skuletich explains how teachers can use the boards to protect their students from an intruder.
"She would hold it like a shield and she would go after the shooter as quickly as possible covering her vital parts with the shield," Skuletich says. "They'll run out of ammunition, magazine will run dry, have to reload and she'll be on them already."
A large board costs $300 and weighs less than four pounds. The smaller clipboard is $100 and weighs one pound.
Hardwire has donated 90 boards to Worcester Prep.
"I certainly had reactions from our teachers that they do feel fundamentally safer by having another layer of protection they use," Tull says.
And parents seem to like the idea too.
"This is something in the classroom, used every day, that teacher is holding onto that can be used for protection," says J.L. Cropper, a parent.