Bulletproof blanket designed to protect students

(Photo courtesy: BODYGUARD Blanket)

(Photo courtesy: BODYGUARD Blanket)

EDMOND, Okla. (WHNT) — A father of two elementary school students designed a product to protect children in the event of a school shooting.

The Sandy Hook school shooting inspired Steve Walker to create something that could protect his boys from a dangerous classroom intruder. He created the “Bodyguard Blanket” to do that. It’s a bullet resistant protective blanket. Kids can put it on like a backpack, and it will give them head-to-toe defense. It’s made out of the same material used to protect police officers and soldiers, and it can be kept in a classroom and easily put on.

(Photo courtesy: BODYGUARD Blanket)

(Photo courtesy: BODYGUARD Blanket)

A person shot through the blanket can still be hurt, but the bullet likely won’t kill them.

Developers say it’s not just for protection from gunman. The “Bodyguard Blanket” can likely also deflect debris from a tornado.

Walker says, “It won’t save every life. We would never say this is better than a tornado shelter, but we do believe we’ve developed the next best option.”

With school districts across the country trying to figure out the most realistic way to keep children safe on a school’s budget, the “Bodyguard blanket” may be a solution.

Right now, the price is just less than $1,000 per blanket. However, the company hopes to offer discounts for larger orders for school districts.

62 comments

  • John Gradwohl

    I like that someone is making our kids safer, but think it is sick and twisted that we view this as a solution and that the thought even needs to come up!

    I mean how messed up is our society that we need to design bulletproof nap mats for our children to be safe in the place that they should be the safest! How messed up is our society that it has come into vogue to go kill the most defenseless people when they think that they are safest?

  • Sally

    Oh, those would be great, but most rural schools could not afford those, they can’t even buy the most basic needs like textbooks because they are not getting the funding they need.

  • John

    What a stupid idea… $1000 a pop? What school could afford that? Why not just reinforce the doors and windows, or perhaps build a safe room.

    • santaclausmama

      Great idea John… and that safe room could double as a storm shelter… sure makes a lot more sense… now if we could only get the funding for this and funding for the mentally ill.

    • Quinn Kaplan

      OR, we could stop fear mongering, and try to actually communicate with one another to find instead of figh-… Wait a minute, we’re talking about America. Never mind.

    • MARYJO REEVES

      I AGREE JOHN! I THINK A SAFE ROOM WOULD BE GREAT… $I,000 IS A LOT FOR SOMETHING THAT MAYBE MAY NOT EVEN WORK!! A SAFE ROOM WOULD BE IDEAL FOR THE CHILDREN TO GO IN FOR LOCKDOWN!! LOVE THE IDEA!!…

  • Laurie

    Cost to much money, and it does not even cover the whole body. Don’t know if it is worth the investment.

  • mr hill

    Explain it to me so I’ll understand………..these things cost $1,ooo each per student,in a school that has 700 students that would be $700,000 & they say it cost too much to pay for a police officer to patrol the school on a daily basis! WHAT? how many police officers out there that makes $700,000 a year?

    • Mamaof6

      Out of all the comments here this one speaks the most……. I feel a hired officer holding a GUN is a better investment than relying on kids to use this (have time to get it, put it on, get to a safe place, etc etc). If we could just try to prevent it from happening all together it’d be better.
      That being said, no school can afford this… at least not the public schools. I don’t live in a poor area by any means and each parent has to supply ALL of the their kids basic needs for the classroom.

  • Randy Phillips

    I’m afraid this is not going to be any more effective than us being taught to hide under our desk or against the wall in case of nuclear attack in the 60’s. It will give the children a sense of security but the best option in case of an active shooter is to have a plan in place to secure the room, block any views through windows, and moving away from the door.

  • Ina Holthaus

    What about size? One-size-fits-all isn’t going to do it. And to store them in each classroom – where? They would take up quite a bit of space and would have to be in a locked closet. The photo here only shows that kids are protected from behind – what about the sides, the front? And who is going to pay for it? The NRA? Whoever came up with this idea should have put a little more thought into it.

  • Pat

    Even from from the back, a shooter can aim for the floor & bullets can richochet! Just another Co,.taking advantage of these shooting for thier own “Agenda” like politicians, the media & the Bogus School Shooting “Data” Released By Everytown/Mom’s!
    `

  • Alex

    It’s better than nothing. Have you not been to an elementary school classroom lately? There isn’t a safe room in every classroom. Yes, the bullets can ricochet and there are multiple kinks to still be worked out, but would you feel safer knowing that your child has a better chance with something rather than nothing? It’s more helpful than telling them to curl into a ball in the corner or hide under a desk. The price is outrageous, that’s a fact and sure, orange is a little discouraging. However, I don’t see anyone else on here coming up with any ideas either. Stop criticizing people for trying to help keep their kids safe when it has become too dangerous to send them to an institution they are required by law to attend every day.

    • Holli

      Thank you Alex!!!! I know that it is a lot of money but like you said it is better than nothing! I would definitely buy one to keep my children safe! I am, by far, financially capable of buying two of these, but when it comes to keeping my kids safer, I will do anything!! Plus, we all know that the option for better security at schools is a question that has been brought up at many school district meetings and still nothing has been done about it. As far as this giving the children a false sense of security, I would suggest that it be explained to the children that this is not a cure all for gun safety or from tornado debris. I would like to thank the father that invested his time into inventing this Bulletproof Blanket. Like Alex said no one else is coming up with any ideas, so here’s one step closer to to keeping our children safer!!!!

  • Amy Bailey Revis

    i think that if we want our children to be safer the teachers should carry guns and also children and teachers should have to go to take gun safety teaching children about guns may stop them from bringing them to school

  • Angela Charles

    From a Newtown mom and a Texas mom who had kids in a school during a tornado touch down on their playground: Couldn’t hurt, but they may give a false sense of security to kids and staff. Way too expensive!
    This picture is way off too. Kids should be under desks or against a sturdy inside wall. Stay away from windows and doors. Those practices work for tornadoes and shootings. Also, turn off lights and draw shades during a shooting.

  • Nikki

    That makes sense Amy so a child or intruder can get a hold of the Gun, or keys to unlock the Gun. This is a issue, and it’s unfortunate. Yes there should be volts that holds kids in, yet how much warning do they have, what if a child is in the hallway to use restroom or locker. This is a good start, that someone is coming up with a solution. Yet what about malls, movie theaters . There needs to be someone working on this. Unfortunately we have to defend our self and children from these situations because it is getting worse.

  • Skillpot

    Just think, a protective vest was not available for the military until Korea, right! But, one sure did save my life on April 16, 1953, BUT, it did not save my buddy!

  • Judy Doherty

    It is sad that we need safety from bullets, but on the other hand we do need to be safe in a tornado….it better come with great handles or straps to attach it…in tragic situations we tend to not have the best grip…(no punt entended) Great Item!!!!!

  • Gabe

    Jeez…Why doesn’t everyone give it a rest with the criticism? Or at least think before spouting off.
    Why does it only cover the back? I’m guessing there’s a couple of reasons 1) it’s bullet proof material meaning it probably has some weight to it and kids are going to be using it. 2) Most mass shootings are lone gunman situations which means you need protection between yourself and the gun man. Throw this on your back and run, prevents someone from shooting you in the back. Flip it around and use it as a shield in front of you. Everyone group together and form a wall of the these things. Options are endless. Why is it orange? Yes a giant block of orange is target, so is a giant block of camo print wandering the halls of a white walled elementary school. However, if the roof were to collapse in a tornado and rescuers were digging out trapped kids, suddenly a giant block of high visibility orange becomes much much more useful. Hell I’d throw a RFID tag in them so it would be easier to find. $1000 a piece is steep, but notice the part where he says there will discounts for school district orders. If I go have 1 piece of something manufactured it will cost exponentially more than if I have 10000 of them made (per piece). This is because materials are only part of the cost. The plant has to configure machines and train employees and work out all the kinks of my one piece. I can’t order the materials in bulk meaning I’m probably already paying retail for them. So the cost will be a lot lower. And as far as school districts not having the money, last year on the last day of school Bryan ISD threw approximately $100,000 of food in dumpsters outside the school. This included lots of canned items. The employees aren’t allowed to take it home or to food banks or give it to hungry kids. It just goes in the trash. Then during the summer they had an auction for “used” office furniture and “surplus” supplies. A friend of mine picked up an entire trailer load of 3’4″ maple plywood for $50.00 There were approximately 100 sheets. 1 sheet of plywood costs what, $30-$40? Meaning he got $4000 of plywood for $50. He also picked up an entire suite of 1 year old Haan office furniture and 3 filing cabinets that had never been taken out of the box. For $150.00 for the lot. School districts have plenty of money. They spend it stupidly. I’m not saying buying these for every school is a great idea. I’m just saying the cost may not be as bad as you think.

  • Rosemary Small

    I think it’s a shame people have to worry about sending their children not knowing if they will be okay or not. I don’t have the answer to this problem but hopefully someone will !!!

  • Ryan

    Most school shooters use semi-automatic rifles that would bust through those! Not a good investment in my opinion of any schools! Invest in security guards or law enforcement officials to protect our schools not things like this that won’t work!

  • Scotty Miller

    I do like the idea behind this but, if I was a shooter looking to hurt anyone (which I’m not) unless you can wrap your entire body without anything showing you are still vulnerable to attack

  • Christopher Otto

    This is such a dumb idea. If the kids have enough time to figure out where their “protective shields” are located, be able to pull them out and sit down then pull them over them (after asking a million questions of their “teachers” what, why and during cry) they don’t need them at over a $1,000 a pop. Teacher could have already locked the door…which would stump about 99% of the friggin idiots wielding guns in schools anyway. Somebody pulls up to the “drive thru” and tries to rob you with a knife…shut the window. Has a gun? Shut the window and sit down. Somebody is hoping to get rich here over our fears. Tell you what…they pass this and want to purchase these for ALL schools…I will fulfill the order and undercut their offer by 10%…continuously. Idiots.

  • Alex

    Check the website they are only rated to 660 Joules. These are useless against rifle rounds. Moreover, unless this is in combination with armed and trained staff the students remain sitting ducks.

  • dan

    I think its a good idea, but its not going to help when things fall on you from a tornado, and school shootings IDK dont seem like a plausible idea to me either. its just a blanket it wont stay on! and it leaves to me open spots.

  • Gary Brabbs

    This is a ignorant idea billions to supply all the schools and storage issues along with hey a shooter just walked into our class Mrs.B what do we do OH lets dig out those blankets before he shoots us all and the prize goes to the idiots that thought this up please select anything from the third row from here to here but not these or these sure the plastic cigar is yours.

  • DarkAngel

    This is not a good idea. One it’s a waste of money. If a shooter is already inside the school, what good are these? If a shooter is content with killing someone then he/she would just pull this off and shoot.
    This is an idea for a shooter who isn’t inside the school already, and frankly I can’t remember the last time I heard about a shooter outside of a school shooting blindly inside a school that made the news nation wide. Someone please refresh my memory. Maybe a lot less time fixing the issue of a shooter already inside our schools and more fixing the issue of keeping them out. Security, detectors, random locker searches.

  • Nicola

    I haven’t bothered to read half of the comments listed. Why not get rid of guns full stop? I live in Australia, sure our ratio of population is not in context, but we have never had a school shooting. Guns were banned many years ago, there is no need for them unless you live on a farm and need it for culling purposes. I feel this gives the children a sense of insecurity thinking that everyday they go to school they are going to be shot at, and lets face it, it’s a weekly scenario over there…….very sad times indeed.!!!!! So many factors contribute to this epidemic that you are experiencing a d I truly feel sorry…….think about it and get rid of the guns, sure you might say people kill people, and this is true, but people are given a right to own a gun (for what purpose??????) to SHOOT AND KILL…..
    Get back to basics people….

  • Quinn Kaplan

    This story, in my opinion, has no purpose coming from the media except for fear mongering. “Let’s remind our children every day that we’d rather spend $30,000, per room, per building, than grow the fuck up and start having serious discussions about a solution”, it seems to scream. And, for contingency’s sake, here’s this; No conversation had in American politics falls under the category of “communication”. It more resembles two chickens scheduled for slaughter that spend all of their time left plotting how they’re going to defend their food from the other after losing their heads.

  • Whitney Tijerina

    Most people are saying that the schools would have a problem affording these, but then there are parents like myself who would have NO problem paying for it out of my own pocket! I know a lot of people couldn’t afford an expense as large as that, hell I can’t afford it, really, but are you willing to put a price on your child’s life and safety? I’m not. Here’s another thought: arm the teachers, teach children about gun safety and about self-defense.

  • angela

    why so expensive?? how many people can actually afford to pay a $1,000 even though they want to save the kids life, it is way too expensive and i feel who ever invented this is trying to make a profit on people fears, it is sad and it is scary to think we are resorting to this

  • Valerie

    Gabe and Whitney Tijerina, I think the 2 of you are the only ones commenting who have a brain In Your head. People all want to gripe about something needs to be done to solve a problem but then when somebody actually steps up to the plate and puts a plan in action instead of sitting on the sidelines bitching and doing nothing then they all want to STILL keep griping oh that’s stupid that cost to much negative negative. I think it’s a great idea because like Whitney said $1000 is a lot more affordable than the loss of a child. Also I agree teach gun safety instead of gun keep away. What is the natural reaction of a kid when 2 other kids toss a ball to each other not letting the one kid get it? The one kid just wants it that much more parents and the law are doing just that to kids they are playing keep away with guns. Instead of hiding and locking up guns these kids need to educated on what they are how they work what they do and the do’s and dont’s to knowing when to handling them and how to handle them properly . Kids are curious by nature and humans always want what they can’t have. By eliminating the curiosity by educating them on the subject and getting rid of the feeling that it off limits no matter what by teachin the time and place to handle a gun then guns will no longer be so attractive to them. My dad sat me and my sister and my mom down when I was very little and showed us how to break his shotgun down to clean it how to load it how to shoot it and where he kept it then told us that the ONLY time we were to touch that gun was if a burgler broke in and for some reason either dad couldn’t get to it to protect us or if he was at work and they was hurting my mom or something then and only then were we allowd to get the gun and if you ever pull a gun he said you better plan on using it or leave it alone cuz pulling it and not using it could get it taken away and get ya shot with your own gun. And in all my life that day was the only time we ever touched that gun (thank god) or even thought about touching it. It was never locked up or even out of reach but we knew better than bother it unless we absolutely had to. Education of a gun will save the lives of more kids than isolation of the gun will. But since we don’t seem to follow old school rules from the days these type of problem didnt exist something like the bodyguard blanket is probably the next best thing for this day and age and its “improved” way of raising kids.

  • Melanie Stowe

    I just read an article that a teacher in IA invented a metal sleeve to go over the door arm, which would prevent a shooter from opening the door. This would be a better cost effective way to protect the class room then each kid having the blanket. Not saying that the blanket wasn’t a good idea, but if a kid panics and can’t get it on or the child is too big for the protection, it could cost a life or two. With this sleeve, it will protect the whole room and take only seconds to block the door.

  • kay

    I feel like it’s the sand thing as a bullet proof vest and if that’s the case. It’s still going to hurt. Meaning these children will panic and run around causing them to possibly get shot in the uncovered areas. Not thought out very well.

  • Bradley Willard II

    Think about WHY these people do this in the first place, and you won’t need them. I see it boil down to the stupid frenzy over money. people sick of all the glutinous, greedy, jealous, behavior most of us succumb to. It all sickens me too, but Im not gonna kill anyone! Maybe it has to do with the way they were raised. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to destructive behavior, and if we do not wake up and try to learn new things( a brain that doesn’t think is clinically dead), I feel we will destroy ourselves!

  • Logan

    As an educator I think the idea is good but price is steep. Our school has a plan in action for a dangerous person on campus/in school. As most have said we lock the doors, turn out the lights, move kids to an interior wall where even if someone shoots through our fire doors they shouldn’t be hit. While the kids are huddled a couple of these on the outside of the pile might help forMym a protective barrier.

  • Logan

    As an educator I think the idea is good but price is steep. Our school has a plan in action for a dangerous person on campus/in school. As most have said we lock the doors, turn out the lights, move kids to an interior wall where even if someone shoots through our fire doors they shouldn’t be hit. While the kids are huddled a couple of these on the outside of the pile might help form a protective barrier. We also had instant lock fire doors to isolate hallways so we did try to protect them. My job was even to check the RRs and hallways and usher students to a safe room. So on top of the safety plan I would like one if these as I am clearing the hall to protect my students. As far as not covering the whole body, even a class III vest only covers the chest, back and if you pay extra your sides. So its not a perfect fix but it could be beneficial if used properly.

  • nick

    I’m sure armed security guards would be more cost effective and provide better overall protection, but that would involve doing something that makes sense and letting reversing the current “victim disarmament” zone rules. Advertising to crooks that you are serving fish in a barrel doesn’t discourage crime…

    If we want to retain our irrational fear of guns how about just adding a steel door and steel shutters to the classrooms that can be closed and locked.

    These blankets.. just stupid..

  • TAMMY LEANN

    IT’S SAD, THE WORLD HAS COME TO THIS. I REMEMBER, DUCK, TUCK & ROLL, & FLINCHING WHEN WE HEARD BIG PLANES. THE SAD THING IS THE NEXT SCHOOL SHOOTER,( WITH EMOTIONS, HURT FEELINGS) WILL WEAR ONE OF THESE BLANKETS AS HE AIMS AT INNOCENT CLASSMATES. PRACTICING FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS IS NECESSARY. HOWEVER; MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH, [lack of health/ mental] CAN & WILL BREAK A PERSON OR COUNTRY. THE ONLY GOOD THAT COMES FROM PRACTICING EMERGENCY DRILLS, BLANKET OR NOT; BENEFITS OUR MILITARY, [SPOTTING STRONG LEADERSHIP/ SURVIVAL SKILLS]. THIS IS A SMART CONCEPT. YET, THIS IS A SAD AND SCARY THING FOR OUR CHILDREN…..NEW WORLD ORDER REALITY…

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