From first glance, this seems like fake news. It’s not. A school district in Pennsylvania is arming its students with rocks. That’s right. Rocks will be placed in every classroom so that students can defend themselves against a school shooter. Dr. David Helsel of the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County told state legislators in Harrisburg about this plan last week, according to 16WNEP, a local ABC News outlet:
“Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone. 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 Dr. David Helsel.
That was Dr. Helsel testifying to the House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg.
The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District was explaining his unconventional form of protecting the students in their schools in the event of an active shooter situation: give them rocks.
“At one time I just had the idea of river stone, they`re the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard and they will create or cause pain, which can distract,” said Helsel.
Helsel says teachers, staff and students were given active shooter training through a program known as ALICE which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate and they routinely hold evacuation drills for active shooter simulations.
Some are actually supportive of this policy, though some find it comical. To boot, WNEP added, “Helsel says the district has no plans to arm teachers, however, Blue Mountain does have a maintenance employee who is trained and certified to work as school security and is armed.”
So, wait—there really is not need to arm students with rocks; they already have an armed security guard. The next step is adding a few more. They don’t have to be teachers if that makes parents queasy. I guess it’s an extra layer of protection, but the notion that rocks will stop a firearm is absurd. Also, arming teachers isn’t an insane idea. Many districts across the country have already adopted the policy.