Pennsylvania school wants to arm students with rocks to protect them against active shooters



School arms students with rocks in the event of a shooter

Pennsylvania school is to arm their students with rocks in the case of an active shooter lockdown scenario.

Schools nationwide are debating President Trump’s call to arm teachers and security guards with guns – while one Pennsylvania school is to get attention for the last line of defense.

Blue Mountain School District, Director David Helsel made headlines recently after testifying to lawmakers in the state capitol, that his students could be armed with stones in case of an active shooter lockdown.

“Each classroom is equipped with a five-gallon bucket of the river the stone,” Helsel told legislators. “If an armed burglar trying to gain entrance into one of our classrooms, they will be faced with a classroom full of students armed with stones, and they shall be stoned.”

The director told Fox News on Friday he was surprised by the extra media attention for something he calls a “last resort.” He said that he has received positive support from parents in the community.

Helsel said the school district has a series of security measures that have already been installed, including cameras and new locks on classroom doors, as well as armed security and training of the staff and the students in a program called ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, counter, Evacuate.

But if an unarmed teacher to decide the lock of a class, instead of passive as they had been trained to do in the past, Helsel said that his children will be empowered to defend themselves.

“It is clearly a rock against a gun is not a fair fight, but it is better than nothing,” he said, adding, “I don’t know why some people feel it is more suitable for a stationary target under a desk in a classroom instead of being empowered to defend yourself and provide an answer to discouraging the entry of an armed intruder in their class.”


Helsel, said another district had recommended use golf balls, but he didn’t like that idea because they bounce around while the rocks are shaped in a way to hit and to fall after being thrown.

The plan has received mixed reactions from the community.

A senior at Blue Mountain High School supports the idea.

“It is important because it will help protect the schools, nothing helps, rocks are better than books and pencils,” he told WNEP.

“At this point, we have to be creative,” one of the parents said. “We have for the protection of our children in the first place. The throwing of stones? It is not an option.”

But not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

“It is absurd,” another parent said. “Arm the teachers.”

Helsel said, while the teachers are not armed, the district is looking for volunteers at the school to the maintenance staff is well-trained and armed, adding that he hopes that they never have to use the safety measures.

Caleb Parke is an associate editor for You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke

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