School district to arm students with rocks to protect against shooters

(WHDH) – A school district in rural Pennsylvania is adopting an unusual way to protect students against any possible school shooters: by arming them with rocks.Dr. David Helsel, Superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District, says students are getting active shooter training, including how to barricade doors and distract a shooter.

Part of the district’s safety plan equips each classroom with a five-gallon bucket of river stones, with the idea that anyone who enters a classroom with a weapon will be faced with a room full of students ready to stone them.

“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,” Helsel said.

Helsel says the stones are meant to be used as a last resort, and points out that staff and students routinely hold drills to prepare for active shooter situations.

“I mean anything helps,” one parent said about the idea. “Rocks are better than books and pencils.”

Another parents agreed, saying, “At this point we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost. Throwing rocks, it’s an option.”

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