When his students express their weariness of constant lockdown drills, a sympathetic New York City math teacher offers them some cold comfort. Statistically, he says, they’re likelier to be hit by a car than they are to die in a school shooting. But traffic collisions don’t get constant media coverage, counters a teenage girl: Vigilant hyper-awareness of classroom gunfire has made her so anxious she’s reluctant to attend school at all. Thus goes the most candid and heartbreaking exchange in “Bulletproof
,” an unobtrusive but keenly observational documentary on an educational system in a state of constant, numbing alert — and the growing industry of fear and defense that, depending on your view, either serves or exploits it.
Crisply editing scenes of school life, teacher training, board meetings and trade shows across the country, without accompanying commentary, Todd Chandler
’s quiet, sober-minded film is ultimately chilling in how it