Bulletproof whiteboards give Rocori teachers a defense shield - KMSP-TV

Bulletproof whiteboards give Rocori teachers a defense shield

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COLD SPRING, Minn. (KMSP) -

You know those whiteboards replacing chalkboards in schools? Well, a smaller,  bulletproof version will soon be in all Rocori schools.

In the event of a school shooting or threat of violence, classrooms will go into lockdown. If a shooter gets into a classroom, teachers can now use hand-held whiteboards as shields to protect their students.

Rocori is the first school district in Minnesota to get the bulletproof whiteboards and one of just a handful of districts in the nation.

Watch the video to see how the whiteboards hold up on the shooting range.

On Tuesday, the inventor of the whiteboards will be in Rocori for the official unveiling. In recent interviews, representatives of Hardwire have been quoted saying the boards were created in direct response to the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

In Rocori, not a day goes by when Cold Spring Police chief Phil Jones doesn't think of Seth Bartell and Aaron Rollins. '

"Two bright and brilliant students were killed with this bullet," he said.

The shooting at Rocori High School still haunts many in the town nearly a decade later, and Jones said he's been keeping an eye out the entire time for ideas that could help protect his community.

"This shield is the most unbelievable product, in school safety I've ever seen in my life," Jones told FOX 9 News.

Jones said he believes the boards are a tool that could help teachers fight back and defend.

"I think people will fight for their lives and they will appreciate having this," he said.

The board weighs just a few pounds and is just a quarter of an inch thick, but looks may be deceiving. 

"I could not believe this was going to be bulletproof," Jones admitted.

So, he decided to test it out by firing three different types of bullets at it, each more powerful than the one before it.

"As you can see, there is no penetration," Jones said after demonstrating his experiment.

Furthermore, Jones said the shield could also be used as a weapon in close-quarters.

The marker boards are expected to be distributed district-wide, along with training for teachers and staff members. The district's superintendent told FOX 9 News that while lockdown and evacuation procedures are still crucial, but said the boards add a proactive level of defense although he hopes they are never used.

The project has the backing of the Bartell and Rollins families, both of which donated to the project. The manufacturers' website lists each board for $300. 

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