Mass shootings aren’t just getting more common, they’re also getting deadlier, and it appears that schools have become a more frequent target of these attacks. Is it time for a more drastic approach to protecting children? Many people worry that passing more laws won’t be enough or that the process is fast enough to prevent another tragedy.

Stricter gun control laws and restricted access to schools have offered some protections, but one look at the nightly news shows that these measures might not be enough. One U.S.-based company, KT Security Solutions, may have found an answer.

U.S. security firm designs bulletproof shelters

With the slow passing of gun restriction laws, some people may think that a more practical approach is necessary. In fact, a security company and a mobility lift company have both developed protective shelters for schools in the event of an active shooter.

Collapsible bulletproof shelter 

Kevin Thomas, Designer at Alabama-based security company KT Security Solutions, constructed the bulletproof shelter after the fatal shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 21 people were killed. 

Some believe that the police officers’ poor response to the incident failed to protect those who were inside the school and that a better response could have saved lives. 

Thomas says, “We heard the parents in Uvalde, you know, and they were like, ‘Please don’t let this be for nothing; don’t forget us in six months.’ And that day, when we heard that from one of the parents, we went into action.” 

Freestanding bulletproof shelters 

Florida-based National Safety Shelters created a freestanding safety shelter that is installed fully assembled, so there’s no need to wait before getting to safety. This version is crafted from military-grade steel designed specifically to resist penetration from gunfire, including handguns, shotguns, and automatic weapons like an AK-47.

The shelter pods are located inside each classroom, and children can enter in less than a minute. Doors lock from the inside, and the space is windowless except for a small bulletproof peephole in the door. The design mimics tornado shelters constructed for people who cannot move far to evacuate, like in a nursing home.

The company has already had a few clients purchase shelters for schools, including Quitman School District in Arkansas. 

How much do school safety shelters cost? 

The student safety shelters from KT Security Solutions are a little over $50,000 each, but, as Kevin notes, “What price do you put on the life of a child?” He also believes that the money for the shelters shouldn’t be taken from the school budgets, but rather provided by the federal government by reallocating funds to place these in every classroom in America.

“We do this everywhere else for everybody else, and nobody thinks about it. Whether it’s an actor or a government official or whatever, we protect them, you know, with everything we have, and our kids have nothing, and that’s just not fair,” Thomas concluded. 

The Quitman School District in Arkansas spent over $1 million to place 53 pods in its schools. 

Are bulletproof security shelters the answer to ending mass shooting deaths in schools? 

Although the shelter inventors believe that this protection can help protect teachers and students, critics of a “fortress” inside a school aren’t as convinced.  

Ron Avi Astor, professor of social welfare at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, brings up an important point: many school shooters are themselves current or former students, aware of the lockdown drill responses and safety measures the schools have in place. He also warns against creating a “mini-prison” environment for children, turning schools into places of fear. 

Final thoughts

In the twenty years since the Colorado Columbine school shooting left the nation in shock and horror, dozens of school shootings have followed, leaving hundreds dead, communities devastated, and families forever changed.

The tragedy of mass shootings is something we can all agree on, but other parties besides the shooter may be responsible for creating an unsafe situation that led to the death of someone you love. If you lost a loved one in a violent attack, please reach out to our dedicated Florida wrongful death attorneys. Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990 to learn more.