'Students armed with rocks': PA school-shooter defense plan gets creative

25 March, 2018, 01:34 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Blue Mountain School District Dr. David Helsel

The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District has come into the spotlight after revealing that his students will protect themselves against potential school shooters with rocks.

Helsel described the bucket of rocks, which will be kept in classroom closets, as a "last ditch" option to use as an alternative to students hiding passively under desks.

At least one parent voiced her support for the measure.

Helsel noted that schools also conduct active shooter and evacuation drills, but the stones are available if a teacher puts a classroom on lockdown, according to the affiliate station.

"If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance to any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks", he said. Dr. Helsel says that one stone can inflict a lot of pain and distract a shooter. "We have to protect our kids first and foremost", parent Dori Bornstein told 16 WNEP. Still, he added, rock use is seen as a last resort.

Despite having clarified that the rocks are not their only means of defense, many people said they think that the idea is not going to do anything.

More news: Sacramento police killing of unarmed man sparks 2nd day of protests

David Helsel, superintendent of a school district in northeast Pennsylvania, explained his plan to a legislative education committee last week, drawing a flurry of local media coverage.

Though Helsel says his district doesn't have any plans to arm teachers right now, there is one employee trained as a security guard and the district plans to train more employees.

Law&Crime reached out to the Blue Mountain School District for comment but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.

If students at the rural school district can't evacuate during a shooting, they don't have to sit and wait.

"The overall goal of this particular day was to expose the students to all the various careers and professions that are out there so that they can build hopes and dreams for themselves", said assistant principal Laura Ansbro.

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