Pennsylvania eighth graders issued bulletproof backpack plates as graduation gift

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The entire graduating class at a Pennsylvania middle school was gifted bulletproof backpack plates as they prepare to head to high school next year.

Students at St. Cornelius in Chadds Ford, Pa., were outfitted with the “ballistic shields” thanks to a donation from a local company, according to Fox 29. The report notes that Unequal Technologies developed the ultra-thin shield and designed a 10-by-12-inch plate that can slip into a backpack.

The bulletproof backpack plates were also handed out to 25 faculty members at the school.

“I never thought I’d need this,” one student told Fox 29.

But parents and guardians of students told the news outlet that while a bulletproof backpack may be extreme, it’s necessary.

“You hear about these school shootings almost weekly, and I can’t believe that’s where we are in our nation today, but that’s the fact,” said one great-grandparent.

Unequal president Rob Vito argued handguns and shotguns are “useless” against a product like the one the company gifted the students.

The gift comes as recent deadly school shootings in places like Parkland, Fla. and Santa Fe, Texas, draw further attention to school safety.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently unveiled a new proposal that calls, in part, for the funding of firearms training programs for school officials.

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