In an assembly on Monday, Mr. Vito presented the shields, which were tested at military laboratories and are known as SafeShields, to 15 students and 25 faculty members. A shield would not resist an AR-15 bullet, but it has been tested to stop handgun bullets and shotgun shells, as well as provide protection against stabbing, he said in an interview.
Mr. Vito’s 14-year-old daughter is among those graduating on Tuesday who received the donated SafeShields. Made of a Kevlar composite, they measure about 10 inches by 12 inches and weigh about as much as two eight-ounce cans of soda.
“Sadly, this is the sign of the times,” Mr. Vito said. “The parents have to take responsibility for their child’s safety.”
Mr. Vito said the company was talking to schools in Atlanta and Texas about supplying the shields, which could cost $ 99 each for schools and be passed from graduating to incoming students “like a textbook.”
“This is not the only solution,” Mr. Vito said. “This is part of it.”
Tammy Brogan, a teacher at the school, said she showed her 9-year-old daughter, Juliana, a student there, how to slip one of the shields into her school bag, making room for it among the books and a water bottle.
“She took it,” Ms. Brogan said. But, she added, “I don’t know if she fully understands the impact.”