In Pennsylvania, one rural school district is taking a unique approach to protecting its students and staff during a potential live shooter incident: arming them with buckets of rocks.
According to the Associated Press, Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel said every classroom in the district has a 5-gallon bucket of river stones to be used as a last resort in the case of an armed intruder.
> "We always strive to find new ways to keep our students safe," Helsel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, adding that the rocks are one small part of the district's overall security plan.
> Throwing rocks is more effective than just crawling under desks and waiting, and it gives students and teachers a chance to defend themselves, he said. The district has about 2,700 students at three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.
> Staff and students in the Blue Mountain district have been trained in a program called "ALICE" which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. Helsel said the rocks are part of the "counter" portion of training, fighting back if the intruder makes his way into the classroom.
Though parents and students have been supportive of the measure, Kenneth Trump, president of the Cleveland-based National School Safety and Security Services, told the AP that throwing rocks is “illogical and irrational and said it could possibly cost lives.”