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

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A school district in Pennsylvania plans to arm students with buckets of rocks to deter possible school shooters.

"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 said.

Instead of going straight for the bucket of rocks, students and teachers are trained through the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) program for active shooter situations.

Students were taught to use rocks to cause pain and distract the potential shooter. However, the buckets are kept in classroom closets and are not immediately available for use if necessary.

"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.

Helsel also told AP that throwing rocks is more effective than crawling under desks and waiting, and it gives students and teachers a chance to defend themselves.

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

"It matters because it will help protect the schools, anything helps, rocks are better than books and pencils", one student said.

Schuylkill County residents are a bit divided on the plan. Dori Bornstein said, "At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost". They said, "It's absurd, arm the teachers".

School safety procedures have become a hot-button issue in the weeks following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. One of the proposals on school safety by the Trump administration is for states to provide firearms training for school staff. "Throwing rocks, it's an option".

David Helsel, superintendent of a school district in northeast Pennsylvania, explained his plan to a legislative education committee last week, drawing a flurry of local media coverage.