Pa. school district stocks classrooms with rocks to combat school shooters

This map from the US Census website displays Schuylkill County Pennsylvania and the different public school districts in that region

David Helsel, the superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District in Pennsylvania, testified to the state's House Education Committee that classrooms in his district have been given buckets of rockets, an ABC affiliate reported. According to The Hill, school safety procedures have been under the spotlight in the weeks following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Despite polls showing that large numbers of Americans support stricter gun-control measures, Congress has thus far not produced any significant legislation, and schools and other officials have looked to other solutions. In at least one school district, in Redmond, Washington, ALICE training also involved guidance for children to distract an intruder.

Though Helsel says his district doesn't have any plans to arm teachers right now, there is one employee trained as a security guard and the district plans to train more employees. Dr. Helsel says that one stone can inflict a lot of pain and distract a shooter.

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

Helsel described the bucket of rocks, which will be kept in classroom closets, as a "last ditch" option to use as an alternative to students hiding passively under desks.

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

'While I don't like that we need to do this, this response is better than doing nothing'. Dori Bornstein said, "At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost".

A parent also told WNEP that the buckets of rocks are "absurd".

Despite the comment, Helsel does not anticipate the school will be arming teachers anytime soon. "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".

A school in Pennsylvania is in the midst of a controversy involving rocks following the horrific Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

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