One School District's Plan to Stop Mass Shootings: Arm Students with Rocks

"If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks and they will be stoned."

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Mar 23 2018, 5:06pm

Photos (L) ElenaK78 and (R) screenshot via WNEP

On Saturday, thousands of people will join in on the March for Our Lives, a nationwide rally calling for actual gun control measures after 17 people were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. But according to the superintendent of one Pennsylvania school district, the gun control measure his schools will be using can be found in a bucket.

"Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone," the Blue Mountain School District superintendent, Dr. David Helsel said, according to ABC affiliate WNEP. "If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks and they will be stoned."

Active shooter response training organization ALICE suggests "creating a dynamic environment [to decrease] the shooter's chance of hitting a target," in the event of a mass shooting, but only as a "last resort." Though it's not entirely clear how children pelting palm-size globs of sediment will keep someone from using an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, like the one Nikolas Cruz brought to Marjory Stoneman Douglas last month. One student told WNEP, however, "rocks are better than books and pencils."

"They're the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard, and they will create or cause pain, which can distract," Dr. Helsel said.

With Congress unwilling to budge on raising the legal age limit for purchasing certain firearms and the White House wanting to arm teachers with guns, schools around the country are at the very least getting creative with ways they can try to protect students. Some think that means arming students with rocks and fire extinguishers, while others, like the administration at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, think making students wear clear backpacks could do the trick.

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Correction 3/26: An earlier version of this post called the AR-15 a "machine gun."

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