Bulletproof backpacks raise concerns for parents as they prepare for back to school

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It's almost back to school season for kids in Northeast Kansas but with two back-to-back mass shootings safety is becoming an even bigger priority.

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s almost back to school season for kids in Northeast Kansas but with two back-to-back mass shootings, safety is becoming an even bigger priority.

For $180 you can get a backpack that can stop .44 magnum bullets at Office Max. Heather Blakemore has kids and grandchildren who attend Topeka Public Schools. She says seeing supplies like that make her uneasy.

“We’ve never had drills like that, we’ve never had to worry about anybody coming around the schools or in the schools shooting,” said Blakemore.

Security officers at Topeka Public Schools regularly train for active shootings and other emergencies.

Chief Officer Ron Brown wants parents to feel that their children are safe when they go to school, so they can buy safety materials like the backpacks if it helps them rest easy.

“I think parents need to do what makes them feel comfortable to provide for the safety of their children,” said Brown. “I would say I don’t believe they don’t need those things here. I think we do a very good job in Topeka Public Schools in providing for student safety and staff safety.”

In addition to the 16 officers on staff, some of the schools have bullet resistant glass and panic buttons to call for help.

Navaya Vaughan goes to Chase Middle School and has grown up with drills. She says she feels safe going to school every day especially because of the safety measures.

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