Metro Atlanta schools mull bullet-resistant glass to protect from shootings

Schools considering bullet-resistant glass
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Tuesday, a day after the schools in Nashville, the superintendent of Marietta City Schools said the district is considering installing bullet-resistant glass to their schools.

During a town hall, Dr. Grant Rivera said it’s an option the district has considered to secure their entrances.

On Wednesday, Chuck Gardner, Chief Operations Officer for the district, said those conversations with the company Safe Haven Defense Southeast began in September.

“Our product is basely the equivalent of a storm shutter. Instead of having to put bars on windows, we can put our product there,” said Frank Jones, CFO of Safe Have Defense Southeast.

Jones said entrances and windows are the new “weakest link” at schools in the event of a school shooting incident.

Gardner said they’re working to schedule a demonstration with the manufacturer to confirm if this is the right fit for their schools.

“Although I can’t talk about all the things we’re doing for obvious reasons, I’m pleased that I think we’ve got extensive plans and significant investments around school safety that are being considered really on a daily basis but certainly in light of Monday,” said Gardner, in an interview with Atlanta News First.

For Atlanta Public Schools, the district has already began installing this bullet-resistant technology into his school windows and doors.

“The good thing about the ballistic film we’re looking at is, you can’t shoot in, but you can shoot out,” said Chief Ronald Applin, Chief of Police for Atlanta Public Schools.

The film is retrofitted to existing windows and doors.

Chief Applin said they intend to install this ballistic film into all their schools.

Leaders at DeKalb County School District said it is also considering bullet-resistant glass for their entrances.

As a general practice, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) does not comment directly on specific security measures at schools because doing so can compromise the effectiveness of those processes by individuals who may seek to circumvent or avoid them.

DCSD is constantly seeking ways to mitigate potential risks and threats to students and staff. To this end, we are committed to actively evaluating and implementing advanced security protections in our schools, including security vestibules, bullet-resistant glass, ballistic film, weapons detection systems, advanced crisis alert systems, and other proven industry-certified safety measures.

Gardner said Marietta City Schools has spent $631,400 on school safety this year. He said this year they hired an administrator solely focused on school safety.

Among other efforts, Gardner said they’ve attached stickers outside all of their school doors that read ‘Always Locked, Never Propped’ in both English and Spanish.

He said the district works closely with the Marietta Police Department to best strategize enhanced security.