SAN ANTONIO – As Tom Czyz squeezed off round after round into a series of glass panes, representatives from both public school districts and private schools watched intently, with their phones out recording.
Gathered at a North Side gun rage Friday morning, they were there to see if the security glass and security film sold by Czyz’s company, Armoured One, might help slow down an active shooter.
Czyz’s demonstration involved a handgun, an AR-15, gloved fists, and a metal baseball bat. Although the rounds penetrated both panes, Armoured One’s products were meant to help keep them intact longer.
The demonstration had been set up a week earlier, Czyz told KSAT, but he thinks the Nashville shooting at a private Christian school on Monday increased the turnout. Security video from the school shows the shooter entering the building after easily shooting through glass doors.
“The goal is buying time and keeping that bad guy or bad girl at bay,” he said.
Additionally, a new set of security standards for Texas schools will take effect later this spring. Among the requirements is a mandate for the glass on exterior doors or any nearby windows to “be constructed or modified such that the glass cannot be easily broken and allow an intruder to enter.” The specific example in the standards is a “forced entry-resistant film.”
TMI Episcopal Director of Safety and Security David Barnes said the private school had been considering ballistic glass options for about a year or more.
“Obviously, we’re only about 70 miles from Uvalde. So obviously that’s very near and dear to us,” Barnes said. “But I think the Nashville incident in Nashville just really kind of pushed us a little bit further to, you know, explore a lot of different options.”
Northside ISD Police Lt. Kelley Fryar said the Nashville shooting hadn’t prompted his attendance at the demonstration. Instead, he said the district had been looking at expanding its security beyond the secure vestibule areas.
“Since Columbine, we constantly looked at products and tools out there and procedures that we can use to do this. And once again, it’s a layered approach,” he said.
Fryar said the security film and security windows would provide time for people to fall back to the next layer of protection, such as classrooms or more secure areas, and to allow more time for police to arrive.
However, he said, there is no single cure.