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

25 March 2018

The superintendent disclosed that the buckets of rocks are a "last-resort" in the district's school shooter plan, according to BuzzFeed News.

Blue Mountain School District has put a five-gallon bucket of river stones - which are smooth and used for landscaping - in the closet of every elementary, middle and high school classroom. "If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full students armed with rocks and they will be stoned", said Helsel, testifying to the House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg.

In a video posted online, the superintendent said the district chose to bring rocks to the classrooms after staff members took the active shooter response training, ALICE - alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. However, Helsel said that his idea to pelt an armed shooter is not a direct response to the Parkland shooting. The district has no plans to arm teachers, but each school will train and certify a maintenance worker to carry a gun.

According to some throwing rocks at a shooter could result in them becoming more aggressive. The Trump administration has proposed a push for states to provide firearms training for teachers and other school staff members.

He said that the idea is to cause pain and distract the shooter.

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

"Protocol has been that students lie down, under desks and basically become passive targets on our classrooms", Helsel said.

Parents in the district have been supportive of this idea, which has been in place since last fall.

Buckets of rocks may not be the best option, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

"At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost", parent Dori Bornstein told WNEP-TV. He spoke to students about careers in media. "That's what I had a problem with. school districts in Pennsylvania are so under-funded, then they joke about kids having to defend themselves".

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