Long gone are the days when earthquake and tornado preparedness took precedence as drills for children’s safety in school as something much more sinister — and possibly life-saving — takes its place.
After a Parkland, Florida high school shooting left 17 dead on Wednesday, one man in Batesville, Mississippi has taken to the internet in order to educate the public on how students can prepare for such a tragedy — and it starts with a textbook.
In videos that have since gone viral, Rickey Red posted two clips where he used school-issued textbooks as body armor against a round of gunfire.
“One of the best defenses our kids have is right there in their hands is these backpacks with these government-issued textbooks,” Red states in the video.
He then opened fire at the backpack full of books, with bullets failing in both instances to fully pass through the thick pages.
“I did this to educate my children, and I hope it can do the same for yours,” Red wrote in a post on Facebook.
“These videos are not meant to provide scientific information regarding the use of books as body armor,” he added. “It is meant to demonstrate the need to use the resources available in order to provide another level of protection.”
It was a possible resource the victims of Wednesday’s shooting needed as Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Among some of the victims were 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg and 17-year-old Nicholas Dworet, whose grieving families have spoken out against the violence born against their children and the memories they left behind.
“My heart is broken. Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school,” said Jaime’s father, Fred Guttenberg. “I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this.”
Another stolen life that is being remembered was that of assistant football coach Aaron Feis, who shielded student from a shower of bullets. He himself suffered a gunshot wound and died shortly after being rushed into surgery.
“He died the same way he lived — he put himself second,” said football program spokeswoman Denis Lehtio. “He was a very kind soul, a very nice man. He died a hero.”
Students who had a close relationship with Feis, such as 17-year-old junior Colton Haab, recalled watching the football coach run towards the sounds of gunshots as they rang out through the halls.
“That’s Coach Feis. He wants to make sure everybody is safe before himself,” Haab said.
“(He) made sure everyone else’s needs were met before his own. He was a hard worker,” he added. “He worked after school, on the weekends, mowing lawns, just helping as many people as possible.”
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