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(BALTIMORE) — The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will introduce bulletproof whiteboards in its classrooms this fall.

“It’s like having a fire extinguisher. Nobody blinks at having one of those in the classroom,” Bill Robinson, a spokesman for the university, told ABC News.

“It’s basically a police shield with a white board surface,” George Tunis, the founder of Hardwire LLC, explained.

Hardwire, a company that has previously made military armor, began manufacturing the boards this year. The boards are approximately four times the size of a bulletproof vest but are the same weight as normal white boards, Tunis said.

They are designed to hang on classroom doors or walls but can be used as a defensive tool by teachers, should an emergency arise.

“It’s something that would blend in but serves as a constant reminder of school safety. If a teacher ever had to fight an assailant, this would be a useful tool,” Tunis said. “If I had an intruder in my own home, I would reach for this before a gun.”

The university bought 200 whiteboards for $200 apiece and will distribute them to faculty, Robinson said.

“Having this in your hands will serve as a constant reminder of the present reality. An event like Sandy Hook,” he said, referring to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December, “can happen anytime, anyplace.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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