Lawmakers approve legislation to allow students to have a bulletproof backpack at school. West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth says parents are looking at ways to make sure their children can protect themselves, if a shooter enters the school. He says this is one option.

“You can do it two ways. You can put a piece of metal inside the backpack. That costs about 50. The backpacks themselves that’s got a different thing, would cost anywhere from 100… 150 maybe, to 200 dollars,” Walsworth said.

The vote for the bill was 34-2. New Orleans Senator J-P Morrell was one of the two no votes. Morrell says police officers wearing bulletproof vests still receive serious injuries if struck by a bullet and the bulletproof backpacks can’t guarantee that a bullet would just bounce off a child.

“The concern I have is that, when you have a bill like this… you really push a false sense of security on parents, that by purchasing this, their kids are safe, if a shooter enters a school,” Morrell said.

Morrell says he’d rather pass legislation to make sure mentally disturbed individuals can’t get their hands on a gun.

Walsworth says parents are more worried than ever about sending their children to school and a bulletproof backpack could be the only thing that protects them

“I’m hoping this backpack never has to be used. I’m hoping that we’ll never, ever have that kind of shooting here, but I can’t guarantee.” Walsworth said.

The measure now heads to the House floor.
It is currently illegal to wear body armor in school.