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Southeast Texas business supplying face shields to schools

Gopher Industrial in Bridge City is lending a hand. The company began supplying hospitals with PPE, and now they are servicing schools.

BRIDGE CITY, Texas — CDC director Robert Redfield pushed for schools to reopen on Capitol Hill Friday, but some still question if it's safe.

Students in Bridge City ISD are scheduled go back to school this upcoming Monday. The district has spent months preparing to make sure safety is the top priority, but they couldn't do it without the help of one local business.

Gopher Industrial in Bridge City is lending a hand. The company began supplying hospitals with PPE, and now they are servicing schools. Knowing masks may be uncomfortable for students, they found a solution that could benefit everyone.

"We've got sanitizers, we've got the masks," co-owner David Jones said. 

Being in business in 2020 means adapting. Those are not typical products that Gopher Industrial sells. As a former school board member, Jones said he is well aware of the challenges that come with trying to find PPE for students and staff.

"We saw a bunch of different products, and I thought a 7 year old wearing a mask, or a high schooler, it's not cool," he said. 

But then Jones saw face shields that easily attach to baseball caps.

"You know it's not cool, but if anything is kinda cool right now, it's gonna be this shield," he said. "We went out and sourced it and we're actually talking to school districts all over Texas now." 

One late night idea turned into a way to give back to the community, while also staying in business.

Jones said Bridge City ISD as actually the first one to reach out to them.

"We normally don't allow hats," Principal Tim Woolley said. 

Given the situation, Woolley saidsays school leaders had no problem adjusting the dress code to make their students more comfortable.

"That was a no brainer, for sure," he said. 

Bridge City is one of the first districts across the state to start school Monday.

"It's completely different and it's gonna be new, but we're ready, we're ready for the kids to come back and to get some sense of normalcy back into our lives," he said. 

Those face shields are available for individual purchase.