MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The threat of gun violence in the classroom is real for many children and families across the country.
School shootings have claimed dozens of lives this year alone and now, one Minnesota-based company believes they have created a product to make America’s schools safer.
Last month, Minneapolis-based Versare released a new line of patent-pending classroom dividers that also act as a ballistic shield for teachers and students.
The partition is able to withstand multiple shots of both .44 Magnum and 9-millimeter bullets.
“Every really good decision comes down to common sense. We have kids. Can it help? Yeah. Everything else be damned. That, to me, is the number one reason why we are doing it,” said Versare Founder and CEO Robert Jantschek.
The product costs 2 to 3 times more than traditional partitions, but Jantschek argues it is more cost-effective than other school safety measures.
It’s also something that is already in the classroom and isn’t scary or intimidating for young children.
“These products that we are talking about, they have already been in schools for 20 years. At the end of the day, the consumer sees the same exact product, but now, it has that extra level of protection,” Jantschek said.
He insists the company isn’t trying to get involved in any political debates, simply aiming to improve a product they already make.
The reactions have been mixed.
“It’s been, ‘This is the best thing we have ever heard of, it’s about time someone is actually taking action and is taking a stance.’ And it’s, ‘You are a horrible company, you are promoting a cause, you are part of the problem,’” Jantschek said.
Right now, these partitions aren’t in any Minnesota schools.
WCCO-TV reached out to Gary Amoroso, the executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.
In a written statement, he said, “Minnesota districts need to decide what they believe is best for their students and staff and how they want to utilize resources. I believe the issue of student and staff safety needs to be addressed on many levels. No one resource or action is the answer.”
For more information on the product, visit the company’s website.