School is supposed to be a refuge for young people from violence on the street, but mass shootings in U.S. high schools and universities are turning this belief on its head.

In the United States, just as students are returning to school after vacation, one of the most searched-for items by students is a bulletproof backpack. “The backpack is designed first of all to be a very stylish and nice-looking backpack” says Gabi Siboni, director of ArmorMe, a business dedicated to personal defense items. “And it has panels that protect you against bullets. It will increase your survival chances.” Each backpack costs between $100 to $200 and can be converted into a bulletproof vest that is resistant to shotgun and handgun bullets.

A common saying is that school and college are places where young people go to “arm themselves in preparation for the big wide world.” Let us contest this metaphor that young people should arm themselves against life. Let us recognize that school is also the world.