Flagstaff dad making bulletproof desks to keep students safe at school

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John Birdsell came up with the idea to build a bulletproof desk through his company School Security Solutions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) John Birdsell came up with the idea to build a bulletproof desk through his company School Security Solutions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The desks weigh about 200 pounds, are made of Armor Core, a ballistic fiberglass resin composite, and can stop multiple rounds of an AR-15 or AK-47. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The desks weigh about 200 pounds, are made of Armor Core, a ballistic fiberglass resin composite, and can stop multiple rounds of an AR-15 or AK-47. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Birdsell envisions the desks being used for daily school activities, but if an active shooter comes on campus, teachers can flip the desk over and kids can hide behind it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Birdsell envisions the desks being used for daily school activities, but if an active shooter comes on campus, teachers can flip the desk over and kids can hide behind it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"I think it's very sad that we have to be at this place but it could help to have somewhere to hide for kids, and having somewhere safe," said Carol Hale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "I think it's very sad that we have to be at this place but it could help to have somewhere to hide for kids, and having somewhere safe," said Carol Hale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Parents like to think their kids are safe at school, but with all the mass shootings on campuses across the country, moms and dads have reason to worry.

Flagstaff dad John Birdsell decided he'd be the one to make schools safer, so he came up with the idea to build a bulletproof desk through his company School Security Solutions.

"The Parkland shooting was kind of the tipping point, when I said, 'Gosh, it doesn't seem like anyone is doing anything at all to increase classroom security,'" said Birdsell.

[RELATED: Does a bulletproof backpack really work?]

The desks weigh about 200 pounds, are made of Armor Core, a ballistic fiberglass resin composite, and can stop multiple rounds of an AR-15 or AK-47.

"Typically, I would think a classroom of 25 kids would have three desks in close proximity," said Birdsell. "The desk is designed to shelter six to eight kids depending on how large they are."

[RELATED: Phoenix father pushing for more resource officers on school campuses]

Birdsell envisions the desks being used for daily school activities, but if an active shooter comes on campus, teachers can flip the desk over and kids can hide behind it.

"If you're going to have students sheltering in a classroom, this will provide shelter," said Birdsell. "Classrooms currently don't have any shelter at all."

[RELATED: VIDEO: Bulletproof school supplies put to the test]

Retired elementary school teacher Carol Hale gave us her thoughts on the bulletproof desk.

"I think it's very sad that we have to be at this place but it could help to have somewhere to hide for kids, and having somewhere safe," said Hale. "A barrier may be helpful."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona schools in crisis]

"Classroom walls are like tissue paper to bullets, they don't provide any shelter," said Birdsell.

Each desk costs around $1,650.

For more information on the assault rifle bullet resistant desks, visit www.school-security-solutions.com.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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