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I-Team: Promising Protection: Part 1

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: Promising Protection: Part 1 story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In a day and age when school districts are looking for any way they can to protect students, parents are doing the same thing.

Some are going as far as buying bulletproof backpacks for students.

So, the I-Team decided to test one out, and see how it holds up against several guns at close range, and even Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas was surprised at what happened.

With cooperation from the Sheriff's Department, Newschannel 3 put the kevlar-lined backpacks to the test.

Some feel the development is the next line of defense in the event of a school shooting.

Shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn., and other threats of violence are forcing many to look for any way to save lives.

The Undersheriff told Newschannel 3 that in Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and California, school administrators are now using bulletproof whiteboards as shields against intruders.

We tested five different guns from a mere six feet away from the target, as Undersheriff Matyas advised us that most shootings happen at close range.

First on the line was a .38 caliber handgun. The backpack stopped it cold.

Likewise for the next one, a 9 millimeter handgun.

"I was iffy on the 9mm, but it seemed to stop the 9mm in pretty good shape," Matyas admitted.

With each new weapon, the Undersheriff was surprised with the backpack.

He didn't believe it would stop a 40 caliber, until it did.

"If you're a little kid wearing this thing, it's definitely going to knock them down, and they're definitely going to feel like somebody had a hammer or a blunt object and whacked them pretty good across the back," Matyas said. "It's going to hurt, but they're going to live and that's what's going to count."

The bag did meet its match, however, at the hands of an AR-15, a .223 semi-automatic rifle. It was the first bullet to actually go through the book bag.

Even a shotgun slug, from 6 feet away, couldn't penetrate the bag. The force ripped the fabric, but that's all.

We also tested an older style bulletproof vest, albeit one no longer issued to the Sheriff's Office, and it basically matched the book bag shot for shot.

But would you buy something like this for your child?

Is this a great solution, or is it simply putting an band-aid on a much larger problem?

That is ultimately a decision for each parent to make for themselves.
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