Instead of fighting off school intruders and shooters with guns, one Pennsylvania superintendent wants to arm teachers with rocks, reports the Independent Journalism Review.
Dr. David Helsel, the superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District, is making headlines after telling local Harrisburg lawmakers that students in his classrooms will be armed with rocks to protect themselves from potential gun-wielding attackers.
Here’s what Helsel told the Pennsylvania House Education Committee last week, according to WJW-TV:
“Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone. 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 later told reporters he had the idea to arm students with river stone because “they’re the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard and they will create or cause pain, which can distract.”
Helsel also said students, faculty, and staff have been trained in how to deal with an active-shooter situation and routinely participate in evacuation drills and active-shooter simulations. And should a teacher choose to lockdown a classroom, students will have access to a bucket of rocks if the attacker gets in.
“We have devices installed in our doors that help to secure them, to make it very difficult to break through,” Helsel said. “We also have, we train kids and talk about barricading the doors.”
While some liked the plan, other students said it’s “rather comical” while another said, “It’s absurd. Arm the teachers.”
Helsel’s unorthodox decision comes in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people and injured at least a dozen others on Valentine’s Day this year.
Arming teachers in the classroom has been a devisive issue among lawmakers as of recently and especially after President Trump gave support to the idea after the Parkland shooting. Saturday there will be the “March For Our Lives” march in Washington D.C. that was planned by the anti-gun students who have rallied behind the cry of ending gun violence in schools after the Parkland massacre.