With school threats, shootings, and lockdowns in the news at a dizzying pace, educators are naturally looking at ways to keep kids safe. But while those measures typically include security guards or metal detectors, one Alabama middle school is raising more than a few eyebrows by asking parents to arm their children—with canned goods. As WHNT tells it, WF Burns Middle School Principal Priscella Holley recently sent home a letter that began, "We realize at first this may seem odd," and went on to contend that a well-chucked can "could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive. The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure." Parents are asked to give their child an 8-ounce can ("corn, beans, peas, etc.") to bring to school.
An administrator tells CNN that the canned-peas defense is part of ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) training it implements "to get kids evacuated and not be sitting ducks hiding under desks." She tells WJBF that the school has seen some "negativity" in response "out there on Facebook," and that it's "the very, very last resort and the very, very smallest part of this entire training." Wonkette runs through a list of ideas it deems much worse, before concluding, "In other words, chucking cans of creamed corn at an intruder is starting to sound pretty damned reasonable." (Schools in South Carolina might take a different approach.)