One can improve or re-think anything. This story describes a product for self-defense — a bullet-proof whiteboard:
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will introduce a security upgrade later this year: 200 bulletproof whiteboards for professors to hang in their classrooms and, if need be, hide behind. “We just wanted to add one more tool to help us ensure the safety of the campus community,” said Ernest Leatherbury, chief of campus police. “The whiteboards are user-friendly and noninvasive.”
The boards were bought at a cost of $59,800 from Hardwire, a local company that developed protective armor for the military with loans from a university-affiliated foundation. Made from Dyneema, a material used for truck armor in Afghanistan and for SWAT team shields, the 18-by-20-inch boards can stop “multiple magazines of ammunition from handguns or shotguns without ricochet or injury,” says the company’s web site. These are to be a protective device of last resort — to buy time once a shooter has entered a classroom. Hardwire has outfitted entire school districts in Maryland, Minnesota and North Dakota, but Eastern Shore is the first university to buy the boards.
Michel Demanche, an art professor, was skeptical — “I’m 4 feet 11 and about 120 pounds” — but she attended a demonstration. Officials shot at her shield with an air gun. “It did not knock me down,” she said. “I could hold it, and the power of the bullet was deflected.”
Bonus: you can write on them.
(Samantha Stainburn, The New York Times)
Here are a few of the products Hardwire produces aimed at schools:
Bulletproof Backpack Insert
Protect your children, family or yourself from shootings in schools, malls or the work place. Drawing on years of experience fabricating some of the military’s most advanced armor solutions, Hardwire has introduced the Ballistic Backpack Insert. The Ballistic Backpack Insert is designed to fit into book bags, back packs and brief cases. The Ballistic Backpack Insert provides a layer of ballistic protection from handgun fire and can stop multiple rounds. Manufactured with Dyneema® (a high performance polyethylene fiber), this board weighs less than one pound and meets the NIJ Level IIIA Ballistic testing standards. You never want to be in a situation when you are threatened by gunfire, however, if you are, you’ll have a chance with a Ballistic Backpack Insert covering your back.
Bulletproof Whiteboards and Clipboards
Hardwire’s Bulletproof Whiteboard and Whiteboard Clipboards are everyday instructor’s tools which also provides emergency armor protection. The armor technology is derived from solutions developed for the Department of Defense. Lightweight, durable, and portable protection for anyone.