Panama Police Discuss How Old Textbooks Could Stop Bullets In School Shootings

PANAMA (KFSM) -- The Panama School District is discussing how to better safeguard the school and students against an active shooter.

The police department will be working with school leaders and students to train them on reaction techniques that could help in an event such as this.

Panama police chief John Whitaker said that discussion could include arming qualified teachers. The school currently does not have a school resource officer due to budget restraints, another idea that will soon be discussed.

In addition, the department has been doing research of their own with old unused textbooks.

Their idea is to place three to four old books in an inexpensive drawstring backpack. Tubs filled with these backpacks would then be placed in each classroom. If an active shooter situation were to ever happen, the students would grab the backpacks and put them on over their shoulders to shield their chests and vital organs.

Panama police took the backpacks to the shooting range to see if the books would stop a bullet.

"Two of these have stopped every pistol round that we have fired at it of both Full Metal Jacket and Hollow Point. With three books we have been able to stop the .223 round," Whitaker said. "I'm saying I would much rather have this than opposed to nothing."

This is an idea police in Panama said is a discussion school leaders could soon start to have as early as their next school board meeting. It could take time to implement, if at all, but it is on the table for school leaders in Panama.