One school district in Pennsylvania has sidestepped the debate over arming teachers with firearms by arming teachers, instead, with buckets of rocks. Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel thinks arming pupils with rocks will help thwart an attack from a school shooter.
“Protocol has been that students lie down, under desks and basically become passive targets on our classrooms,” Helsel said. “We decided to empower our students with tools of self-defense if needed.”
Helsel said the plan to use rocks came after staff members took the active shooter response training known as ALICE–alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. The training taught teachers and faculty to run from the shots, barricade the doors with desks and chairs and to use whatever’s at their disposal and throw at the shooter, whether it be paper, pens or books.
“If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks and they will be stoned,” he said.
However the rocks according Helsel is simply a last line of defense. According to the superintendent the most important thing is the safety of the students, which means getting out of the building is their number one priority, not throwing stones.
“We understand that a gun is much more deadly than a stone. It’s our hope that we can somehow stop the ability of an armed intruder to enter our classrooms,” he added.
Parents within the Blue Mountain School District reportedly like the rocks.
“At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost, throwing rocks, it’s an option,” Dori Bornstein, a parent said.