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- Technology Areas
It looks like University of Maryland Eastern Shore is trying a new tactic to control campus safety: Bulletproof Whiteboards.
Unlike most colleges bent on boosting security on school grounds that are in the midst of readdressing gun policies and installing new video monitoring systems, UMES is taking a different route, spending $60,000 on whiteboards that can stop bullets, according to a news release.
The university has announced that they have committed to buying 200 Bulletproof Whiteboards developed by local Pocomoke City-based Hardwire LLC. The decision was officially made public at the 2013 Maryland Association of Counties summer conference located in Ocean City.
“UMES is the first university to adopt the Bulletproof Whiteboard as a critical layer of its student and faculty security system,” George Tunis, founder of Hardwire, explained. Going so far as to say that thanks to his Bulletproof Whiteboards, “UMES will be one of the safest campuses in the country as students return to school.”
As for how the Bulletproof Whiteboards will be used, well, the 18-inch by 20-inch tech savvy tools will be given out just like any regular whiteboard, serving as a helpful addition to the classroom come time to lecture. It’s a logical move forward for the school, university officials say, making campus all the more of a safe haven for students who rely on UMES as their living and learning institution of choice.
“Classroom safety is not a pleasant topic,” admitted UMES President Juliette B. Bell. “Unfortunately, campus violence is a reality that we have to be prepared for, and this technology allows us to be proactive rather than reactive.”
The new product will be “Similar to a fire extinguisher, which buys time for the fire department,” Tunis said. “The Bulletproof Whiteboard is a tool that buys time until the police arrive in an active- shooter incident.”
Regardless of how absurd it sounds to have $60,000 worth of huge whiteboards capable of stopping bullets in the classroom, you can never be too safe.