CHADDS FORD, Pa. — Graduating eighth graders have received a parting gift from their Pennsylvania school: ballistic shields for their backpacks.
A company that makes the bulletproof inserts gave them to students during a ceremony Monday at St. Cornelius School in Chadds Ford, outside Philadelphia. Faculty members also received the 10-by-12-inch inserts.
Unequal Technologies says the shields resist many types of bullets, shotgun blasts, shrapnel and knives. However, the lightweight panels do not offer protection against high-powered rifles like the one a gunman used to kill 17 people at a Florida high school in February.
The daughter of the company's founder attends St. Cornelius.
Unequal Senior Vice-President Jim Caldwell says that as students go through their high school years, the shields are "a gift that hopefully they'll never have to use.''