Come on Pennsylvania. This is just insane.
A Pennsylvania school district thinks they have found the solution to combat gun violence in their schools. They’re giving the students rocks. Yes, rocks.
According to the superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, David Helsel, buckets of river stones have been placed in all classrooms to protect the students 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.”
The superintendent said that they decided to use the rocks in classrooms after teachers and staff members went through the active shooter response training ALICE….alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate.
“Obviously a rock against a gun isn’t a fair fight, but it’s better than nothing,” he said, adding, “I’m not sure why some people feel that it’s more appropriate to be a stationary target under a desk in a classroom rather than be empowered to defend yourself and provide a response to deter the entry of an armed intruder into their classroom.”
The training taught them to barricade doors with desks and chairs and run away from the gunfire. The training also encourages students to throw things at the shooter “rather than wait passively” for them “to attack.”
“At one time I just had the idea of river stone. They’re the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard and they will create or cause pain, which can distract,” Helsel told CNN affiliate WNEP.
But Helsel at least had the sense to say that the rocks are a last resort.
“We’ve learned many things from these tragedies over the years,” Helsel said. “One of them is that evacuating makes students the safest.”
“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 in the school district seem pleased with the idea.
“At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost, throwing rocks, it’s an option,” parent Dori Bornstein told the affiliate.