Pennsylvania School District Arms Teachers and Students With Rocks in Case of School Shooter - NBC Bay Area
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Pennsylvania School District Arms Teachers and Students With Rocks in Case of School Shooter

The district's superintendent says it is more effective than just crawling under desks

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    Pa. District Arming Students, Teachers With Buckets of Rocks

    The Blue Mountain School District in Pennsylvania is putting 5-gallon buckets filled with rocks in each classroom as a last resort should an armed intruder burst in. (Published Friday, March 23, 2018)

    A school district in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, is arming teachers and students with buckets of rocks in what the superintendent says would be a last resort should an armed intruder burst in.

    Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel says every classroom in the district about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia has a 5-gallon bucket of river stones.

    "We're empowering our teachers and our students to do something," Helsel told NBC affiliate WBRE. "They hit somebody in the head it could actually knock them out or even hit them in the temple, it could kill them."

    He says the rocks are one small part of the district's overall security plan. The district serves 2,600 students through three elementary schools, one middle school, and a high school.

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    (Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2018)

    "We're going to throw them at a person who comes through the door as hard as we can," said Randy Nunemacher, a middle school teacher.

    Helsel says it is more effective than just crawling under desks, and gives students and teachers a chance to defend themselves.

    "It gives me just a little bit of confidence to know that our students just aren't sitting targets," another middle school teacher, Jill Kerstetter, told WBRE.

    One student says he supports the plan, adding that throwing rocks is better than throwing books or pencils.

    Kenneth Trump, president of a school security consulting firm, calls the idea irrational and says it could possibly cost lives.

    The rocks are secured in each classroom, according to Helsel. Students have carried out drills and discussed using the stones, but haven't thrown them.