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Lifesaving Backpacks

CINCINNATI (Deborah Linz) -- Most children are in still enjoying summer fun and not thinking about school.

But soon enough mom and dad will be back to school shopping and in the wake of Columbine, Virginia Tech and the Sandy Hook school shootings a small number of U.S. Companies are selling bullet proof, back to school supplies.  

From white boards and clip boards to protect teachers to bullet proof seat cushions and back packs for students; it's school gear unthinkable for parents just a few years ago.

Mindy Tissop, a mom, said, "It's kinda sad 'cause it's not how we grew up."

It's a little unnerving these days that parents have to think about protecting their children with bullet proof back packs.  A back pack from Bullet Blocker out of Massachusetts contained a bullet proof, Kevlar panel.  The manufacture said it will stop .9 mm, 357 and 44 magnums.  After testing five 44 bullets, none of them went through the panel.

As stated by the manufacture, the backpack will not protect against a rifle.  When tested with an AR .15, the backpack did not.  Adam Lanza used the same kind of rifle in the Sandy Hook massacre. Does the bullet proof backpack and other anti-ballistic supplies provide a false sense of security or some level of protection from an active shooter?

Assistant school principal, Genevieve Lopardo, said, "The trouble is all of our kids don't carry back packs."

At $230 the backpacks are not cheap.  The bullet proof back pack inserts are more affordable ranging from $100 to $175 depending on the size.  There are also bullet proof blankets made by an Oklahoma company.  They cost $1000 a piece.

Critics claim the surge in companies producing bullet school products is just exploiting parents' fears.  Ed Burke with Bullet Blocker denied that.  As a father himself of a 10-year-old he said his company's goal was to empower children.

One of those few U.S. companies making bullet proof school supplies is "Impact Armor Technologies" in Cleveland.

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