Bulletproof and clear backpacks among back-to-school options

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Bulletproof and clear backpacks among back-to-school options

Many districts across the Houston-area have made changes after the Santa Fe High School shooting last May, including security precautions that could affect what your child brings to school.

We looked into a couple of options that parents are exploring for the coming school year.

"TuffyPack is a ballistic shield that is designed to go in virtually any backpack, laptop case, a computer bag," Steve Naremore with TuffyPack explained.

Inside consists of 23 layers of ballistic material called "toran."

"It's essentially a deconstructed bulletproof vest, similar to what a police officer would wear on a daily basis," Naremore said.

While the topic of school shootings is a sensitive one, Naremore says it's a reality parents are faced with.

"It's something that a lot of parents aren't really ready to do, to outfit their children, while other parents have embraced the opportunity to add this level of protection," he said.

They can be purchased online or at various locations around Houston, including at the Shiloh Shooting Range. The shield inserts go from $119 to $139, depending on size.

Another option being required by a few districts this year are clear backpacks, but some parents have complained about a few of them sold online. Some of them aren't large enough or don't seem to be durable. That's where Joy Chapman, with My Safe Case, saw a need. She's been selling clear designer clutch bags for a couple years now and decided to branch out.

"So that's where I came up with this idea that's large enough to actually fit all the textbooks. The big binders, a laptop, has a little spot for water bottles on the side and a little privacy pouch," Chapman said.

Chapman adds the backpacks have been tested up to 50 pounds, and they're quite durable.

"I realize that the clear backpacks are not the end all be all for ending gun violence. It's an extra layer of protection, it's a deterrent." Chapman said.
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