School District Arms Students With Boatload of Rocks to Defend Against Shooters

26 March 2018, 01:05 | Isaac Mcdaniel

EHS students organized and participated in the school walkout one of many school’s across the country

EHS students organized and participated in the school walkout one of many school’s across the country

According to the superintendent, throwing rocks is more effective than hiding under the desks and waiting for the attacker to open fire. Still, Blue Mountain has an employee on site who's trained and certified as school security and who also carries a weapon.

"Obviously, a rock against a gun isn't a fair fight, but it's better than nothing", he said.

The Blue Mountain school district in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, which has three elementary schools and one middle school and high school, has supplied each classroom with a five-gallon bucket of river stones for students and teachers to use to retaliate with in the event a shooter enters the school. He said the rocks are seen as a last resort.

Mr Hesel said he still advises teachers evacuate their students if an armed shooter gains access to a school building.

He said his school board approved the rock buckets before they were put in the classrooms at the district's five schools last fall.

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Susan Spicka, executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, told Buzzfeed that she was at the hearing and a lawmaker responded to Helsel's bucket of rocks plan by saying, "Can I come out and watch?", which elicited laughter.

An actual photo of the rocks, which look like big rocks (provided by Superintendent Helsel), but still... nope. "We also have, we train kids and talk about barricading the doors".

School safety procedures have become a hot-button issue in the weeks following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.

"We always strive to find new ways to keep our students safe", Helsel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, adding that the rocks are one small part of the district's overall security plan. The Trump administration has proposed a push for states to provide firearms training for teachers and other school staff members.



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