ST. LOUIS — City Academy may be the first school in the St. Louis region to apply near-indestructible window protection. 

Jarrett Young, Head of School, told us, “It doesn’t change the aesthetics of the school, so you can have a school where students are safer and it doesn’t feel any different.” 

Young’s school installed a unique laminate from Safe Haven Defense. 

We also visited another location—a different school in a different district in the region where the product is currently being installed. That location is not yet ready to publicize its security upgrades. 

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Before installation, the product looked like thin plastic, but it’s strong enough that even Young couldn’t break through with an aluminum bat. 

We were there when he tried it. He commented later, “It felt like I was hitting a wall.” 

Young, along with other school leaders and police officers, watched a Safe Haven Defense demo, which also took it up a notch. It was inside the Sharpshooter Indoor Shooting Range on Gravois, where Safe Haven’s Nate McVicker even fired rifle rounds from a pistol to show the product’s strength. 

McVicker said, “Seeing is believing.” 

Handguns are the most common weapon of school shooters, according to a 2023 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, which reported that school shooters used handguns 85% of the time. 

The laminate’s location is also critical. “76% of forced entries are through the major entry doors, not the side windows.” He added, “Try to safeguard the entrances, the side lights if you will, and then expand from there.” 

He said it should be considered one component of a defensive web. It’s a defense that retired Lt. Brian Murphy believes he survived to talk about. 

On his off day in 2012, he found himself near the 2012 Sikh Temple massacre. He was shot 15 times as he responded. 

Murphy told us, “I can remember driving and coming to a T intersection—you make a left or a right—there’s no calls or anything. If I make the right, this never happens, not to me, but I make the left, just for whatever reason, and I’m there 59 seconds later. You’re in a fight for your life.” 

Murphy continued, “If I wasn’t there when I was there, there would have minimally been another 15 people dead; that’s not debatable. People who were trapped in the pantry told me that and they said he was standing right there and then he saw your car and he went after you and he left us alone.” 

Then he commented about security that day, saying, “I looked at the front entrance to the temple, and it’s all glass doors. And had that product been available to them and they used it—had they just gone in and locked the door—nobody on the inside of that building died.” 

Stay tuned for the schools launching this product right now. Although they’re not yet ready to announce their security improvements, they’ve promised you’ll hear about the upgrades here on Fox 2 first. 

The company says the cost of a typical front entry with two glass doors and side windows can be about $2500.