PA school district gives students rocks to throw in case of shooter

25 March, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Blue Mountain School District Dr. David Helsel

As schools around the nation grapple with how to best protect their students against a potential gunman, a school district in Pennsylvania has come up with one concrete solution. That's right. Rocks will be placed in every classroom so that students can defend themselves against a school shooter.

Blue Mountain Superintendent David Helsel told Reuters Friday that those rock buckets represent exactly the kind of desperation defenses recommended by experts in dealing with mass shootings.

District superintendent David Helsel said throwing rocks at school shooters was more effective than crawling under desks and waiting, and it gave students and teachers a chance to defend themselves.

That was Dr. Helsel testifying to the House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg. But the students are armed with rocks in the event that a shooter does get through.

Some are actually supportive of this policy, though some find it comical.


What is only a part of Blue Mountain's plan to deal with an intruder is being mistaken for the whole. However, following Helsel's statement at the conference, rumormongery on social media has taken Helsel's "last ditch effort" from its context and made it a target of derision. In at least one school district, in Redmond, Washington, ALICE training also involved guidance for children to distract an intruder. An unidentified parent called the idea "absurd" and said teachers ought to be armed.

"They have a big impact on the discipline and have a kids or product, so I think obviously they're responsible for their children", one parent said.

"We have devices installed in our doors that help to secure them, to make it very hard to break through", Helsel explained. "Throwing rocks, it's an option".

The district, which has about 2,700 students at three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, has no plans to arm teachers, although one staffer is a trained security guard.

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