Delaware County 8th graders given bulletproof backpack plates as graduation gift

The 10x12 inch plates are about a quarter inch thick and weigh a little over a pound.

Dan Wing
June 08, 2018 - 9:45 pm
SafeShield Bulletproof Backpack Shield

Unequal Technologies

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Some Delaware County Middle School Students were given quite the unusual graduation gift earlier this week, but it's something that one day could save their lives.

The outgoing 8th grade class at St. Cornelius Catholic School in Chadds Ford consists of only 15 students, but each one was given a bulletproof backpack plate donated by Unequal Technologies of Glenn Mills. Company CEO Robert Vito says it's a product they've been working on for a decade.

"The SafeShield is about a quarter inch thin, weighs less than two soda cans, and it's bi-directional," Vito said.

That means it's just as effective at stopping a projectile from the front as it is from the back. Vito says they worked with a military test lab to make sure it was the highest level of protection, which it is with a 3A certification.

"In only a quarter inch, thinner than a pack of matches," he explained. "You're getting the bullet stopping power that can handle a 44 Magnum, 357 Sig, even a shotgun blast or a knife."

Vito says it's something he hopes the students will never need to use, but if an active shooter situation ever did occur those students will have an extra level of protection.

"Allowing you to decide are your going to stay or go," he said, "and, if you have to, wearing it on your front or wearing it on your back in the event of an exit."

While the SafeShields given to the students at St. Cornelius were donated, anyone can purchase one from Unequal Technologies for $150. However, there are deals available for schools looking to buy a large amount at once.