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by Sullivan Owens December 17, 2021 7 min read

The Best Body Armor for School Safety

Our Mission

At Premier Body Armor our mission is to protect you and your loved ones with simple solutions. We strive to find practical ways to implement discrete body armor into your daily life. Be it work, shopping, dinner with friends, or even sending your kids to school. 

We’re a company built on the principles of readiness, reassurance, and offering peace of mind through armored protection. Our company has over 25 years of experience producing armor for the US Armed Forces. Since that time, we’ve evolved to produce body armor for law enforcement officers and private security companies to now making body armor for civilians.

More recently we recognized a need for protection for the everyday civilian. As mass shootings were making headlines, civil unrest grew, and we wanted to offer peace through protection. Our desire has simply been to help people feel safe and empowered through practical, armored solutions. 

Let’s Talk Numbers

  • How many public mass shootings occur in the United States?
  • What can be done about school shootings?
  • What guns are used the most in mass shootings?

The Statista Research Department released a study on December 1, 2021 stating that handguns are the most common weapon type used in mass shootings in the United States. Handguns accumulate for 78% of mass shootings. 

In 2021 there were at least 168 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 36 deaths and 99 injuries nationally. 

Between 2000 and 2014, only 0.1 percent of firearm-related deaths occurred as a result of a mass public shooting. In fact, the chances of being involved in a public mass shooting is 1 in 614,000,000. Whereas the odds of winning powerball is 1 in 292 million. Simply put, chances are greater of winning the powerball twice than being involved in a mass public shooting. 

However, for many minds, it wouldn't make a difference reading the statistic of 1 in 10 versus 1 in 10 million. Our minds will always focus on the 1, in concern that our loved one could be that 1. We often overestimate the risks of horrible events as statistics feel unsympathetic and cold to tragedies that occur.

No matter the statistic, it is worth traveling with protection not out of fear, but investing in a peace of mind. To protect your loved ones with armor that gives them and you, confidence and reassurance throughout the day. 

How to Bulletproof A Backpack

The best way to bulletproof your backpack is to slide a panel in your bag, that’s it! At Premier, our bullet-resistant backpack inserts offer level IIIA threat protection. This means that our backpack armor stops common handgun rounds specified by the National Institute of Justice

Hanguns accumulate for 78% of mass shootings, so it makes sense for you or your loved one to have the right panel that will stand up against the most common threats. 

A soft armor panel that is too small for your bag would prevent you from having the optimal amount of armored coverage. Having a panel unfit for a backpack can cause the panel to move around annoyingly within your bag as well.

A backpack panel too large will cause the panel to fold and possibly misshape the armor over time. Worst case scenario, a misshaped panel could en up with unnecessary gaps in the body armor.

We offer the largest selection of level IIIA soft armor backpack panels, find the best fitting backpack panel for your bookbag! 

These backpack inserts are thinner than an Iphone and don’t take up an obnoxious amount of space in a backpack and weigh about as much as a 16oz bottle of water. Having soft armor in your bag is a simple and convenient tactic to ensure safety wherever you go. 

 

Want to Provide Rifle Rated Protection?

If you're looking for even stronger protection that won't weigh down a backpack, check out our STRATIS Level III+ Enhanced Backpack plate. This plate stops calibers up to 7.62x54R. This rifle rated plate fits nearly any backpack and only weighs 4 pounds. For those concerned with AR-15s or other rifles used in shootings, this Level III+ plate is a great option to bulletproof your backpack.

Why Not Just Buy a Bulletproof Backpack?

Bulletproof backpacks can be bulky, dated and not to mention, extremely expensive. The beauty of an armor insert, is that they are standalone panels. Having a panel that you can toss into nearly any bag and have protection is a better investment. 

That is why we have a wide selection of panels to fit most popular backpacks. We have a simple sizing guide to find the best fitting armor for the bookbag. If you measure the main compartment of the bag, you can use the Width and Height tool on the left hand side of our backpack armor webpage to find the perfect size for the compartment you want to put a panel in.

Kids, especially teens can be very particular about their backpack choice.. Be it Nike,  Jansport, or NorthFace, every year it seems that backpack styles change. I remember as a kid always picking out a new backpack during back to school shopping. 

Having a durable backpack insert means that as bags change, your panel will stay the same. Backpack armor is a great long term investment as opposed to buying a new bulletproof backpack every year that your kid probably won’t want to carry (or if they’re a boy, probably destroyed;). Check out our most popular fitting panels that fit many general bags across the market. 

Investing in Armor for the Future

Jason, Vice President of Marketing, has two teenage sons. Much of the work that we have done in this space is because of them.  Jason recalls pitching his sons the idea of a PBA branded backpack.  They wanted nothing to do with the idea. It was Under Armour or bust for them.  This made sense.  Why not build the armor solution around what the child is already comfortable with.   At that point, we decided to partner with top bag designers to ensure that our panels will be the perfect fit for nearly any bag, while letting kids carry the backpacksthey want to carry. 

Not to mention, his sons are teenageboys, they’re going to throw their bookbags on the ground all the time. They were lucky if their backpacks made it to the end of the school year. As a parent, it gets expensive buying a bulletproof backpack every year to ensure that your child has some form of protection on them while they’re at school or out in the community. 

Jason made sure his kids had a standalone backpack insert inside their laptop sleeve of their ever changing backpacks. Even today, as his oldest son left for college, he equipped him with backpack armor, a bulletproof laptop case, and any other bulletproof school supplies Premier offers. Stocking his kids up on panels brings Jason a peace of mind and enables him to extend protection to his kids when they’re out of arm's reach. 

What if a Backpack Isn’t Allowed in the Classroom?

When deciding whether to make an armor investment for a backpack, it's important to ask if backpacks are even allowed with students throughout their day. In an effort to prevent school shootings, a lot of schools have implemented strategies such as not allowing kids to bring backpacks to school or into the classroom. Many schools allow backpacks, but they must go in the students’ locker and only bring a binder to class. 

We recognize this trend as a measure of safety and wanted to offer alternative solutions. We offer level IIIA 3-Ring Pencil Pouches3-Ring Binder Covers, and a Bulletproof Laptop Case. Backpack armor and these alternative solutions are all great for moments outside the classroom too- lunch, recess, events, or in the neighborhood. We’ve created super discrete ways to armor loved ones, while remaining practical for a kid or teen. 

It’s Not Just for Kids!

Students are not the only ones at risk in the school building. Teachers protect, on average, 30 kids in a classroom. Having a level IIIA purse panel or a backpack insert is a great idea and ways for teachers to empower themselves in the case of an emergency. 

Take Action

The tactic promoted in a shooting scenario is run, hide, or fight. In the case of running, the backpack armor should cover your vitals while running away from a shooter. To hide, make yourself as small as possible and place the panel over you like a shield to cover your head and chest. To fight, you can again use the panel like a shield to protect yourself while you try to remove the firearm from the shooter. 

Investing in Protection for the Future

When choosing armor to protect your life, don't cut out with the cheapest option. Have confidence in your bulletproof gear. Look for quality materials that prove to be durable and have significant warranties. 

National Institute of Justice Certification

Typically when buying body armor, you should check its ratings and certifications. The NIJ (National Institute of Justice) certifies body armor used my military and law enforcement. The NIJ sets standards and protocols for testing the integrity of armor. This is a reliable certification to let the buyer know the body armor protects against certain threat levels of protection.

While it is wise to research for NIJ certified products, the National Institute of Justice does not certify backpack panels. 

"The National Institute of Justice—the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice—has never tested nor certified ballistic items, such as backpacks, blankets, or briefcases, other than body armor for law enforcement. Marketing that claims NIJ testing or certification for such products is false."

Because of this standard, our backpack panels are not NIJ certified, but they are made with the same ballistic protection as our soft armor vests. All of our body armor vests are Level IIIA NIJ certified to stop all common handgun rounds and a 12 gauge shotgun. 

A Company You Can Trust

As a company philosophy, it is never our desire to stir fear, but always offer preparedness. We strive to instill a peace of mind for our customers and protect others. We have an entire collection dedicated to promote school safety. We desire to give parents a practical, reasonable solution to extend protection to their loved ones. 

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