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Bulletproof whiteboard created to protect teachers and students from shooters

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January 25, 2013

Hardwire Armor Systems' ballistic whiteboard

Hardwire Armor Systems' ballistic whiteboard

Given the horrific event that occurred last month in Newtown, Connecticut, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a rise in products designed specifically to protect children against shootings in schools. One of the latest such devices is a bulletproof dry-erase whiteboard.

Made by Maryland-based Hardwire Armor Systems, the 18 x 20-inch (46 x 51-cm) ballistic whiteboard is made to be carried around the classroom by the teacher, who would ordinarily use it as a non-intimidating-looking teaching aid – it weighs less than four pounds (1.8 kg), and has rubberized handles on the back.

In the event of an attack, the idea is presumably that the teacher could grab the board, get between the shooter and the students, then use it to protect both themselves and the children. Its bullet-stopping capabilities come thanks to Dyneema, a polyethylene-based material developed by the company. The board is reportedly capable of absorbing multiple clips of ammunition from point-blank range without ricochet or injury, as can be seen in the video below.

The ballistic whiteboard is available via the Hardwire website, for US$299. A smaller bulletproof clipboard is additionally available for $109 – IMPACT Armor Technologies also makes one, although it’s intended more for use by police forces.

Source: Hardwire Armor Systems via USA Today

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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12 Comments

These products are ridiculous and just simply won't be used.... why not just but steel doors with decent locks in schools. Someone goes nuts, lock down the class rooms. Then teachers don't need to rip bullet-proof dry erase boards off the wall to stop would-be intruders....

Tom Hirschmann
25th January, 2013 @ 04:56 pm PST

Approved, yeah. Get one per child and per teacher, for every classroom.

Just one last demo please, with live ammo and some guy trying to do what a guy with a gun would do to get at someone who's holding up one of these.

BeWalt
25th January, 2013 @ 06:12 pm PST

Impressive material, ridiculous application. This stuff might be more useful as a window shade or shutter.

Very frankly as a personal shield what it needs is a small gun safe with a Glock 26 inside on the back of it so the poor teacher can be prepared to return fire. That would up her and her students chances of survival considerably.

Bob Ehresman
26th January, 2013 @ 10:26 am PST

Allow teachers to be armed with handguns coded to them (so as to keep kids from getting and using them). Heck, at least arm them with tasers.

Rann Xeroxx
27th January, 2013 @ 12:22 pm PST

I prefer the idea of "hardening" all schools exteriors, and creating a "no escape" zone/s within the schools, that can be controlled from a "control room". Then if a "shooter" gets in he/she would be LOCKED IN the "no escape zone", where debilitating sounds can be used to disarm him/her. This "white board" concept is foolish....

Observer101
28th January, 2013 @ 09:08 am PST

Might work against 9mm pistol rounds (if someone remembered to pick it up in time) but I really doubt it would be effective against a .223 caliber/ 5/56mm AR-15 round which would likely go right through it with plenty of residual energy to spare, just like these loads do through the front and back of a Kevlar helmet.

Takis
28th January, 2013 @ 10:37 am PST

As society continues its downward spiral violence will just get worse and worse. I wonder at what point we will be spending more to protect children than instruct them? In America are are many states that now spend more on prisons than schools.

Nelson
28th January, 2013 @ 11:22 am PST

The shrapnel coming off this thing (I doubt it fully absorbs a round) will take out three or four kids instead of one. And if the round ricochets, intact, it's still deadly elsewhere.

Genius.

solutions4circuits
28th January, 2013 @ 12:53 pm PST

er...yeah. The thing is that the person who initiates the shooting is not likely to have a hand gun but an assault rifle as their weapon of choice. Plus, lot of the time these psychos are coming in with a ballistic vest that may even have trauma plates slotted, so good luck to your hapless teacher outfitted with a white board and a p92 or whatever. The shooter's 5.56 or 7.62 rounds rounds are likely to sail right through a white board...armored or not.

Alan Belardinelli
29th January, 2013 @ 06:11 am PST

Hahaha.... I lol'd sooo hard at the title before coming to the full article. Oh, yeah... this idea is definitely up for one of the dumbest ideas of all time award.

kalqlate
1st February, 2013 @ 06:15 pm PST

Tom Hirschmann, schools have very good locks now, and either solid wood or steel high grade doors. They don't stop bullets. At Sandyhook he just shot out the adjacent window to gain access.

Bob Ehresman, not bad, sir. But make it a fingerprint single gun safe mounted to the wall (disguised would be best) and the gun the teacher is trained with. Not a one size fits all issue weapon. training, and fit make a big difference in accurate shooting.

Rann Xeroxx coded guns were tried with police issue guns. Cops would not use them, because they felt that the one time the coding failed (rings the cops were to wear) would be the one time it killed them. Fingerprint gun safes will fill that role.

Observer101, LOL. You would have me working overtime for the rest of my natural life, and add Billions in costs to school systems. Controlled access is what I do. You would also have everyone die in a fire. We haven't had a child die in a school fire in 50 years. Why? We build from fire retardant materials, hold school fire drills, have warning systems, in place and automatic alarms to the fire departments when the alarms sound. Fire suppression gear, and training on what to do if it happens. What do we do if it is a gun? hide under a desk and die.

Takis. The AR-15 is a highly popular hunting rifle, and most commonly chambered in .223. It is NOT an assault rifle. An AR-15, is no different than any other semi-automatic hunting rifle. it just looks scary, because it resembles a the appearance of a military rifle. Assault weapons are fully automatic (machine guns) and with very few exceptions, not in civilian hands. They are highly restricted.

solutions4circuits. deflect shots away from people. bullets break up or compress and deform upon impact, simply angle it slightly and there is no rick of bounce shots. Indoor shooting ranges use this technique to catch bullets behind and below targets. It is safe.

kellory
3rd February, 2013 @ 02:03 pm PST

What a shame that the USA has become such a violent society. The whole world, including the Vietnamese were so in admiration of you, as were we in England during the second world war. As with Afghanistan, would it not have been better to try dropping food and goods rather than bombs?

When a society matures it has no need of weaponry, nor the death penalty. Can we not focus on better ways of stopping people being so disassociated from society that their only perceived solution is to kill?

When will we realise that we are ll part of the planet, we are all us, all part of the same organism. God Bless.

Edward Houghton-Ward
26th August, 2013 @ 12:34 am PDT
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