The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will introduce bulletproof whiteboards in its classrooms this fall.
“It’s like having a fire extinguisher. Nobody blinks at having one of those in the classroom,” Bill Robinson, a spokesman for the university, told ABC News.
“It’s basically a police shield with a white board surface,” George Tunis, the founder of Hardwire LLC, explained. Hardwire, a company that has previously made military armor, began manufacturing the boards this year.
The boards are approximately four times the size of a bulletproof vest but are the same weight as normal white boards, Tunis said.
They are designed to hang on classroom doors or walls but can be used as a defensive tool by teachers, should an emergency arise.
“It’s something that would blend in but serves as a constant reminder of school safety. If a teacher ever had to fight an assailant, this would be a useful tool,” Tunis said. “If I had an intruder in my own home, I would reach for this before a gun.”
The university bought 200 whiteboards for $299 apiece and will distribute them to faculty, Robinson said.
“Having this in your hands will serve as a constant reminder of the present reality. An event like Sandy Hook,” Tunis said, referring to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December, ”can happen anytime, anyplace.”