A university in Maryland is installing whiteboards that have the ability to stop bullets. They are designed to hang on classroom doors or walls but can be used as a defensive tool by teachers, should an emergency arise.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced recently that it planned to spend $60,000 on the high-tech tablet, according to The Los Angeles Times.
"It needs to be a great whiteboard and a useful tool so that it doesn't get hidden in the closet," said maker George Tunis. His company Hardwire LLC starting out making military armor, then adapted it for the classroom after the shootings last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed.
The whiteboard can be used as a personal shield for professors under attack, according to the company that makes it, and as a portable writing pad in quieter times. It hangs on a hook and measures 18 by 20 inches and is available in a few different colors.
“It’s something that would blend in but serves as a constant reminder of school safety. If a teacher ever had to fight an assailant, this would be a useful tool,” Tunis said, according to ABC News. “If I had an intruder in my own home, I would reach for this before a gun.”
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is the first university to adopt Hardwire's technology, but the company reportedly said it had sold bulletproof whiteboards, which cost $299 apiece, to about 100 schools in five states.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that University President Juliette B. Bell said in a telephone interview that she decided to order 200 whiteboards for faculty using funds from the university's foundation account so the school could be "proactive rather than reactive" in a violent situation.