School District Arms Students With Rocks
But official says it's only a 'last resort'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2018 7:46 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Active shooters in one Pennsylvania school district better watch out: the teachers and students are armed with rocks. David Helsel, superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, raised the plan at a state House committee meeting on education last week, the Hill reports. "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 says. "And they will be stoned." He tells Buzzfeed the plan is a "last resort" but cautions the media against mockery: "We have some people who have some pretty good arms. They can chuck some rocks pretty fast."

The rocks are only part of an effort that began two years ago, when Helsel brought in a company to train teachers about school shooting lock-ins and lockdowns. Every classroom door "has a device installed that secures the door shut," he says, and staff is "trained to barricade the door." As a last defence each classroom has a 5-gallon bucket of river stones. Sure, some are ridiculing the notion—including lawmakers who who attended the House meeting. "Everyone laughed," says an education advocate in attendance. "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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