Cold Spring schools using bulletproof whiteboards


A small central Minnesota school district has partnered with a local business to buy $50,000 worth of bulletproof whiteboards that could be used as shields if a gunman ever attacks, the Associated Press reports.

The five-school Rocori School District, including schools in Cold Spring, plans to put the latest high-tech school safety device in each classroom and some common areas, the AP reports.

The whiteboards are made of a material that the Maryland-based manufacturer said is 2 1/2 times stronger than police-issue bulletproof vests. The 18-by-20-inch whiteboards are 4 pounds and will absorb "multiple magazines of ammunition from any handgun or shotgun without ricochet or injury," according to the manufacturer's website.

About half of the district's 170 boards, which cost about $300 each, were bought for the district by Coldspring, formerly Cold Spring Granite Co., the the AP reports. The district paid for the remainder from savings after a construction project came in under budget, the AP says.

One school security expert told the Pioneer Press that the whiteboards might offer a false sense of security, and he noted that the best thing to do is retreat from danger, not hide behind a whiteboard.

Talk of arming teachers and investing in a new array of protection devices, including bulletproof backpacks, detracts from where the focus should be – on lockdown training and other proven measures, Ken Trump, a school security consultant and president of National School Safety and Security Services, told the AP.

"People are going to radical, extreme ideas. In reality they are just short of ridiculous," he said.

Cold Spring knows well the trauma of gun violence. In 2003 at Rocori High School, a 15-year-old boy fatally shot two students, ages 14 and 17, before a teacher convinced him to put the gun down. The gunman is serving a life sentence.

George Tunis, CEO and chairman of Pocomoke City-based Hardwire, talked about how his company came to develop the whiteboards in a story picked up by USA Today.

"It's something I don't think any American can tolerate anymore, and we're in a position to do something about it," Tunis said. "I was like — all right, let's take everything we got, see what we can throw at this problem, figure out an innovative solution."

Next Up

Randy Dobnak

Michael Brantley, Astros pound Twins pitching in series finale

Randy Dobnak's six earned runs was part of a long afternoon.

Seimone Augustus

Lynx to retire jerseys of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson next season

The former Lynx stars were a key piece of their four WNBA titles.

police tape, crime scene

Rushford police officer fires gun during report of a restraining order violation

The incident occurred on Highway 30 near the Rushford Municipal Airport.

lake water

18-year-old dies from drowning in Quarry Park

The incident is one of several drownings to occur in Minnesota in recent weeks.

Screen Shot 2021-06-13 at 8.28.44 AM

College pitcher from MN gets new prosthetic arm after his was stolen

A tough luck story turned out very positive for the Hawley native.

vaccine, covid

MN saw decline in routine child vaccinations amid pandemic

The CDC study looked at Minnesota and nine other states.


Child hospitalized after drowning in Ham Like

Their current condition is not known.


Man dies after falling from pontoon, being swept under boat

Friends believe he struck the motor while under the boat.


Heat doesn't stop 900 from running for disabled vets in Cold Spring

Despite the heat and wind, more than 900 participants ran in Saturday’s Old Glory Run in Cold Spring, an annual event to raise money for the Disabled American Veterans organization. For the past five years, the 3.1-mile run has raised almost $90,000 for the cause.