Monday, August 18, 2014

District Tests Bullet-Resistant Glass


Student safety is a top priority at Topeka Public Schools, and we have been working to improve security measures since last April's successful bond initiative. This morning, Ron Brown, Director of School Safety, oversaw demonstrations testing the capabilities of different grades of bullet-resistant film at the Topeka Police Department's firing range.
"Our intent was to see a visual demonstration of how the glass works, and make a determination as a district as to whether this is the product we want to purchase. We're trying to be good stewards of taxpayer money because we are going to spend a lot of money on this. We also want to be able to provide first-hand accounts of what we saw to our principals and our PTO's to tell them what the capabilities of this window film are," Brown explained. 
Using old doors and windows from the district, Soward's Glass applied the bullet-resistant film for testing and set up the demonstration.

Brown said, "We don't believe that the glass is going to stop a bullet, but we tell our teachers and principals that the intent is to slow down a potential adversary until the police can arrive. We're hoping that's what today's demonstration will tell us." Brown made reference to the Sandy Hook school shooting, where the gunman was able to enter the school by shooting through the glass foyer doors. Bullet-resistant film would make such an intrusion far less likely and allow schools to enter into lock-down mode and call for help.
The glass was tested with tools typically used to gain entry into a building: a fist and foot (to see if the glass could be punched out), a baseball bat and a log (items commonly used to break glass and easily found near a school), a .9 mm handgun and a .223 gun.





As the pictures illustrate, the bullet-resistant film withstood numerous tests. Brown hopes to move quickly to have it installed at schools throughout the district.