Bullet Resistant Backpacks and More

School shootings have almost become an epidemic in the last few years. It seems that almost every week we hear about the carnage produced by a sick and troubled mind. The names have become all too familiar, Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary, Stoneman Douglas High School and Robb Elementary. Those are just the ones that make the national news. From 2000 through 2009 there were 230 incidents. From 2010 to the present there have already been 74. An incident is when a gun is fired on elementary, high school, college or university grounds and may, or may not, have resulted in injury or death.

 Schools have done what they can to minimize the ability of shooters to gain access to schools and classrooms. Many schools have locked all but one of their entrances and that entrance is monitored. Classroom doors have been hardened to make entry more difficult. Active shooter incidents have become as commonplace as school assemblies. Some schools have Resource Officers and have gone as far as arming teachers. The question remains, what can you do, as a parent, to protect your child?


An option that is becoming more and more popular is the bullet resistant backpack. Yes, they will stop bullets, but only to a certain point. The National Institute of Justice established standard armored protection levels; the lowest, IIA will stop 9mm and .40 Smith and Wesson rounds, II stops 9mm and .357 magnum rounds, IIIA stops .357 SIG and .44 Magnums, III stops 7.62 FMJ rounds and IV stops .30 caliber armor-piercing rounds. Unfortunately, IV is only available to the military and law enforcement, This is important because most backpacks are rated up to level IIIA which  is only effective against handguns. You can increase the effectiveness by buying a ballistic insert. The inserts are made from multiple cloth layers or a ceramic plate. They also have a IIIA rating and can be used in conjunction with bullet backpacks or a regular backpack. In the event of an active shooter, a student would couch as low as possible and hold the pack in front of them.


Bullet resistant clothing is also available for students. Hoodies and jackets not only protect the body but pull up hoods will also protect the head. There are also vests and casual or dress jackets that carry the IIIA rating.

These options can give you “Peace of Mind,” but they don’t come without a price. Backpacks can range from $137 to $700. Ballistic inserts can cost $99 to $600. Clothing is $35 to $450. 


Parents can also talk to their students about how to respond to an active shooter situation. The Department of Homeland Security recommends a three-step process:

If you have a clear escape path, use it quickly. Have an escape route ready. Move away from the threat and put as much distance between you and the threat as possible.

If you can’t escape, find somewhere secure to hide. Again, put as much distance between you and the threat as possible. Find barriers to slow down or stop the shooter. Turn off the lights and silence your phone. Hide behind large objects so you won’t be seen and. Above all, remain silent.

If you have absolutely no other option, confront the shooter. Be aggressive and commit to your actions. This is not a fair fight. Yell and throw whatever you can get your hands on at him. Find improvised weapons. The idea is to disconcert the shooter enough that he hesitates, allowing you the opportunity to disarm him. The bottom line here is to use whatever means necessary to survive.

It seems a failing of our culture that these things even need to be considered. Whether it’s a gun problem or a mental health problem, it doesn’t matter when your child is potentially threatened. You may never need this information but as the old saying goes “forewarned is forearmed.”  

Shopping Information

Bullet Proof Zone


Armored Republic AR500 Armor Body Armor

Optics Planet

The Armor Shop

The Home Security Superstore

Tuffy Packs Ballistic Sheilds