As summer starts to wind down, students are gearing up for the new school year.
But for some, their back-to-school supplies may include an unusual item, bulletproof backpacks.
The Gilroy shooting has some parents thinking about school safety and bulletproof backpacks are showing up at major stores.
They are now even stocked here locally in the Central Valley.
On Wednesday, Office Depot had one in stock, the cost $204.000 — before tax.
But those we spoke with say the backpack, that was once thought of as a fun accessory, is now being sold as something that could save your child’s life.
When you think of back-to-school, you might think new clothes, markers, notebooks and even glue.
But the main item that holds those altogether, the backpack.
While it has been thought of as an essential item for students, it is becoming even more so now with new technology that makes them bulletproof.
You can find them at big box stores, like Office Depot, Wal-Mart and online.
They are even being sold at local small stores, like Best Uniforms in Fresno. There, they are selling a different option.
“These are bulletproof panels that fit into the school kids backpacks,” says Billie Talley with Best Uniforms.
The panel cost about $180.00. It slides right into any backpack, weighs less than 2-pounds, and made out of the same material as bullet proof vests.
And even though there are resource officers on most school campuses, Talley says in today’s world, owning one would be helpful.
“I would want my child to have one if there were a shooting in a school,” she expressed.
We caught up with a grandfather of five who did not want to be identified but says it’s scary to think this is now a sign of the times.
“I guess you have to think that way now, it’s just something that I didn’t grow up with and it’s just a tough thing to accept.”
According to reports, sales for bulletproof backpacks were up last year by more than 600 percent, compared to the previous year.