An Ohio company that makes bulletproof backpack shields is experiencing an increase in demand for its product due to concerns over school shootings.
"We've had, I would say, a 100 to 200 percent increase certainly in response," said Matt White, the director of marketing for ShotStop Ballistics, based in Stow.
The backpack inserts are one-quarter inch thick and weigh about a pound. It's made from the company's Duritium technology, which can block bullets from handguns and some rifles. However, it does not protect against high-caliber weapons, like AR-15s.
The shields come in hard or soft designs and cost $110.
White said more parents have been inquiring and ordering the insert following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Demand also increased after a 13-year-old boy died after shooting himself inside a middle school restroom in nearby Jackson Township.
"The fact that you're even here and we're talking about it, it's terrible," White said. "It's not something that we ever envisioned. It's not something that we had planned for, but the potential with what's out there now, it's one more layer of safety."
White said the bulletproof product was originally meant as a clipboard for police officers to provide added protection during traffic stops.
Some believe sending kids off to school with the shield only creates more fear and anxiety.
"It's not right. I mean, come on," said Dave Spearing who has grandchildren in the nearby Cuyahoga Falls School District. "Schools are safe."
But Kendall Kubus, a recent Akron Archbishop Hoban High School graduate, sees it differently.
"I think it's protecting us against if that is a scenario, we have that protection and parents have that in their mind that, "Okay, my child is there. They're going to be safer."'