June 10, 2023 1:17 am

VINTON, Va. – Textbooks, pencils, and ballistic armor. That is the reality for students currently.

“At initially I was like, ‘This is crazy. I cannot even think that we are searching into obtaining a item like this,’” mentioned Erin McKee, an employee at CW Armor in Vinton.

The organization styles and sells panels created of bullet-proof material that effortlessly match in a backpack for students of all ages.

“Different weights, diverse shapes, diverse protection levels, diverse cost ranges,” mentioned McKee.

McKee says there’s been an uptick in inquiries considering that Monday’s tragedy in Nashville.

“I assume it is grow to be a necessity, just like crayons and trapper keepers and Chromebooks,” mentioned McKee.

According to the most current information from the CDC, guns are the major result in of death for youngsters and teens in the U.S.

CW Armor also sells ballistic doors, shields and glass offered for interested college districts.

“I just pray that that will under no circumstances come about right here,” mentioned Radford City Public Schools Superintendent Robert Graham.

He mentioned the district looked into bulletproof glass and other technologies to enhance college security, but the cost tag place them off.

“We just couldn’t afford it at that time. That does not imply that we will not do it in the close to future,” mentioned Graham. “It would be extremely useful if we could get some additional state and federal funding for safety in our schools.”

The Commonwealth ranks 40th in the nation for college funding. And following a budgeting error earlier this year, Virginia schools are now $201 million quick in state funding — a additional strain on currently strained budgets.

McKee hopes the ballistic panels can serve as an added layer of security that students under no circumstances have to use.

“What can we do to safeguard ourselves? And this is anything that is extremely uncomplicated to do,” mentioned McKee.

She recommends that college districts operate with their PTA’s, college boards, and neighborhood law enforcement agencies to raise cash for extra safety measures to assistance with charges.

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