Poll Finds That Parents Want Bulletproof Equipment, Trained Professionals in Schools

Nearly three in four (74%) parents are concerned about possible shootings at their children’s school this year, according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. parents of students in grades K-12 by Wakefield Research for Hardwire.

The research revealed that most parents want safer schools by way of bulletproof protective equipment (95%) and trained security professionals (89%); in fact, nearly 1 in 5 parents have already purchased bulletproof backpacks, clipboards or other gear for their kids, with the number jumping to 25% for Millennial parents.

Safety at schools has always been a top priority, even for highly unlikely situations. Parents surveyed report their children’s schools have a variety of emergency preparedness drills in place. Fire drills are among the most common, with 80% of schools practicing them, despite fire deaths at U.S. schools having been very rare for several generations.

Schools also practice drills for tornadoes (42%), bomb threats (29%) and earthquakes (27%). By comparison, less than half (48%) do active shooter drills.

Parents are firmly behind the idea of added protections and increased safety measures to ensure their children are safe at school.

A majority of parents surveyed (86%) believe bulletproof equipment in their kids’ classrooms would improve their odds of survival in an active shooter situation and 88% of parents would also be willing to help foot the bill for protective equipment in the school or classroom.

Parents reported they believe school administrators, including principals and district leaders (30%), will be the most effective bringing change to their school in regards to safety issues. Notably, they think parents (20%) will be the second biggest catalyst for change.

Parents do not have as much faith in their legislators (18%), for making an impact on school safety.

“These results match what we are hearing from school administrators, school resource officers and teachers across the country,” said George Tunis, Chairman and CEO of Hardwire, a leading manufacturer of protective armor serving the military, law enforcement and public entities such as school systems. “As parents, we all want the same thing, a safe environment for our children to learn. Change takes time and parents are looking for solutions that can be implemented immediately for this coming school year. Bulletproof armor products, such as whiteboards, shields and backpack inserts, do not solve all security problems, but making life-saving equipment accessible to students, teachers and administrators is a real solution that can change the odds for our kids today.”

Hardwire’s line of consumer and school safety products includes bulletproof whiteboards, shields and backpack inserts.

Much like fire extinguishers, Hardwire bulletproof whiteboards and Emergency Response Shields are designed to be hung on a wall and kept at-the-ready, to protect teachers and students until first responders arrive. Hardwire’s school safety products are currently used in hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools in all 50 states across the U.S.

Additional Key Findings from the Hardwire School Safety Survey:

  • The threat of a school shooting looms large in America, amplifying anxiety. Most parents (63%) are more worried about school safety now than they were a year ago.
  • In today’s viral news world, the frequency of school shooting incidents has children on edge as well. More than 2 in 5 parents (43%) admit their children are worried a shooting could happen at their school. Dads (48%) were more likely to report than moms (39%) that their kids have raised concerns about a school shooting.
  • This shared anxiety is made no better by parents’ belief that their schools don’t have effective measures in place to keep their children safe in a shooting. Most parents (90%) know about their school’s safety measures, yet a quarter (27%) are not confident that enough measures are in place to slow down an active shooter.
  • Much like the universal support for fire extinguishers and first aid kits, 95% of parents would support schools purchasing bulletproof equipment as a precaution in classrooms.
  • Millennial parents who have come of age in the era of school shootings are more likely to buy bulletproof gear for their children. A quarter (25%) of Millennial parents have purchased bulletproof gear for their kids, compared to 18% of Gen X parents and 6% of Boomer parents.
  • Other measures parents want in place are trained professionals on-site. The vast majority (89%) believe a School Resource Officer (SRO) or law enforcement officer would be effective in keeping children out of harm’s way during an active shooter situation.
  • Purchasing bulletproof equipment isn’t the only solution parents want. They’re also getting involved by talking to teachers and administrators (34%). Parents are taking action outside the walls of schools, too. They are reaching out to school district administrators (23%), joining advocacy groups, such the PTA (15%) and contacting their legislators (12%).
  • No one wants to believe the unthinkable could happen in their town, their neighborhood or their very own school. But it’s always better to be prepared. The majority (82%) of parents agree that school safety measures are in place more for peace of mind than expecting a tragic event to happen.

Hardwire’s school safety survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. parents of students in grades K-12, between July 25 and August 1, 2018, using an email invitation and online survey.

Hardwire has been a leading manufacturer of protective armor for two decades, producing armor systems with various applications, including wearable body armor, shields, bag inserts, vehicle armor, and infrastructure solutions.

Source: hardwiresafety.com