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Bulletproof backpacks: a new trend in back to school gear

It’s a new reality that school shootings are becoming more and more common.

“My son goes to Righetti and they had a scare there last year and it really upset him,” said Santa Maria dad Damon Tell.

As parents look to find new ways to protect their children at schools, the popularity of bulletproof backpacks has emerged.

One of the major retailers now selling these types of backpacks is Walmart. We asked some Santa Maria families their thoughts on buying these bags.

“If you feel that your child would be safe with a bulletproof backpack then most definitely I would encourage someone to get one. But if you feel like i do, and I believe it would be okay for my child to go back to school without one then that would be okay too,” Tell said.

“Any way to protect my kids, I will do it,” said mom Amanda Torres.

Torres is not alone – a recent CBS report shows since the Parkland shooting, parents seeking these items are on the rise. Places like say sales of its backpack inserts jumped 450 percent in the days following the massacre – leaving the company without inventory until June.

Still there are some parents who question the backpack’s purpose. “I don’t feel that in the situation where something as dramatic as that is happening, kids would have the instinct to grab a backpack,” said dad Peter Richardson.

The hefty price tag of some backpacks costing upwards of $400 might make some interested families unable to afford it.

“I think every family should be able to afford it, especially if it’s to protect the kids; that’s what the main reason is for a bulletproof backpack is – we’re trying to protect the kids,” Torres said.

Many retailers caution that there’s no such thing as a 100 percent bulletproof fabric. Additionally, some bags and inserts don’t protect against rifles like AR-15s, that was used in Parkland, Florida.

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