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Parents turn to bulletproof backpacks to keep children safe

OMAHA, Neb. (KPTM) - How far would you go to keep your child safe at school?

Some local parents are putting bulletproof panels inside their kids’ backpacks.

"A few years ago, I had some extra stuff laying around,” Alex said. “I started doing it with my own backpacks and I thought, ‘Well, why not do it for the kids?’”

Not only a father of two young children, Alex is also a veteran and self-defense expert.

"I've trained relentlessly to protect other people,” he said. “Why not use that training to protect my family?”

The backpacks serve the same purpose as a bulletproof vest.

They can potentially be used as shields.

But this protection comes at a price.

Depending on the size and weight, websites are selling panel inserts at prices ranging from $150 to $300.

Rick Alexander, a former employee with online retailer Bulletblocker, says it’s another option for parents to keep their children safer.

"When someone is shooting a gun on campus, and if you're running and this is on your back, then if a bullet happens to hit you, then it can be stopped," Alexander said.

Fox 42 wanted to test the body armor and put it in the backpack Alex's son used to take to school.

A kid wearing the backpack would still likely feel some pain and could even break a bone.

Still, Alex says that’s better than taking a direct hit.

He said, “If something did happen, and he was injured in way that could've been prevented by something that I could've done, how could I live with myself?"

Currently, 88 Tactical is the only store in the metro that sells bulletproof backpacks.

Bulletproof backpacks are considered body armor, and some companies say a customer must pass a background check to make sure they don’t have a felony on their record.

It is illegal if a felon is caught wearing body armor.

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