Nowhere to Hide: Push to harden schools in the wake of Parkland

(WSVN) - It’s the sad reality for today’s students — learning what to do if a gunman got into their school. But these drills have kids seeking safety behind things that cannot keep them safe. 7’s Brian Entin investigates in our special report “Nowhere to Hide.”

When gunfire erupted inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, frightened students hid under desks and in closets.

Max Schachter, son killed at Stoneman Douglas High School: “That should not be the protection mechanism, obviously.”

Max Schachter’s 14-year-old son Alex was killed when gunman Nikolas Cruz fired an AR-15 through the window of his classroom door.

Max Schachter: “If Alex would have just had bulletproof glass windows in his classroom door, he would still be alive, and many of the other children would be.”

But it’s not just the glass that isn’t bulletproof.

We tested typical classroom furniture at a South Florida gun range — and found it is no match for semi-automatic rifle fire.

Bullets easily punctured a student desk … and went right through the filing cabinet.

Alex Shkop, gun range owner: “You have two holes there.”

Brian Entin: “It came right out the back.”

Alex Shkop: “Mmm-hmm, of course.”

The rifle even shot through a steel door … and its hurricane impact window.

David Carhart, Atlantic Bulletproof & Security Solutions: “You can see, that’s where it tried to stop the round, but it obviously punched right through. These are not designed for ballistic properties, they’re only for hurricanes.

Brian Entin: “So this window and this door do pretty much nothing.

David Carhart: “Nothing.”

And not all bulletproof glass is created equal, especially when it comes to stopping rounds from an assault rifle.

Less expensive bulletproof glass does not do the job.

Brian Entin: “So this is technically bulletproof?”

David Carhart: “This is bulletproof, this is made for small-round ammunition, shotguns, 9mm.”

Brian Entin: “So it didn’t even come close to stopping it?”

David Entin: “No. Not designed for it.”

What is designed to stop AR-15 rifle fire is this high-grade bulletproof glass.

It’s two inches thick … and stronger.

The AR-15 rounds cracked, but did not penetrate the glass.

David Carhart: “This just destroyed the round. Pretty much that is what it does. There’s probably fragments of the bullet in here. It just gets destroyed. If you look down here, the bullets down here.”

So experts know what will stop the bullets from making it into classrooms. This thicker, bulletproof glass works every time — but there’s a big problem. It’s really expensive.

David Carhart: “The reality sets in pretty quick.”

A bulletproof door and window costs around $7,000.

There are at least 45,000 classroom doors in Miami-Dade and Broward County Public Schools.

That would cost $315 million just for doors!

Max Schachter: “We need a lot more funding. And you know what I hear from Washington is that there is funding. I’m wanting them to show me the money.”

That’s why Max started Safe Schools For Alex.

He’s working to come up with a blueprint for school safety standards nationwide.

He has met with Vice President Mike Pence and organized a roundtable that crossed the aisle — with senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson.

Max Schachter: “I have got to do something to make sure these 17 lives did not die in vain. I wake up in the morning and I think about this 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

He’s a dad on a mission to find the money and materials to stop the bullets.

A new law signed by Gov. Rick Scott allocates $99 million for hardening Florida’s schools, but that’s still only about $23,000 thousand per school.

Safe Schools for Alex


Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.