School shootings are a tragic reality. While much discussion has centered around prevention, ProTecht, a protective and safety products company in Oklahoma, has created a product it hopes kids will use in case such a tragedy strikes their schools. The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to offer a temporary shelter during dangerous situations, particularly school shootings.
While the Bodyguard is also built to help protect children from falling debris during natural disasters like tornadoes, much of the marketing around the product concerns the potential for school shootings. It's the reason the blanket was created in the first place.
Technically, the Bodyguard is bullet-resistant. It's made from the same materials used in military and law enforcement body armor. Instead of having kids put on a flak vest, though, it puts the material in a form that can be folded up and then unfolded to create a body shelter. It has straps that help hold it in place like a backpack. ProTecht posted a video of the blanket undergoing a ballistics test, if you're curious about how it behaves under fire.
Bullet-resistant materials aren't cheap. The Bodyguard comes with a price tag just shy of $1,000, though ProTecht hopes to partner with schools and nonprofits to make it more affordable to buy in bulk. Even with a substantial discount, it will likely be out of reach for many school districts.
This isn't the first time we've seen a bulletproof product for the classroom. A bulletproof whiteboard that doubles as a shield appeared early last year. In a better world, no one would even have the impetus to dream up products like these. The Bodyguard Blanket will likely rouse a lot of differing opinions. Do you think it's excessive or practical? Tell us in the comments.