Rural Pennsylvania District Takes It Old School with Anti-Intruder Security Measures

What do you do when you're between a rock and a hard place when it comes to protecting students?

Some schools are training kids to stone intruders — yes, really.

So if you’re Superintendent David Helsel, you’ve taken it old school.

At the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, Dr. David Helsel is under fire after telling state lawmakers that classrooms in his district have been “equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone. If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full students armed with rocks and they will be stoned,” ABC’s WNEP affiliate reported.

Rocks aren’t the students’ only defense, however.

“The school district has a series of safety measures already installed, including cameras and new security locks on classroom doors, as well as armed security and training for staff and students in a program called ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate,” as Fox News reported.

Helsel’s reasoning, as he explained it, is that though it certainly wouldn’t be a fair fight — it’s pretty obvious who comes out on top in a gun versus rock scenario — empowering teachers and kids to mount at least some sort of active defense. That makes more sense than passively cowering under desks and hoping help arrives.

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Kenneth Trump, president of a K-12 security firm called the National School Safety and Security Services, disagrees. He believes the bucket of rocks plan is illogical and irrational. Worse, as he told the Associated Press, the plan could possibly cost lives.

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This man’s view aligned with those of many commenters on social media. They see the plan more as security theater. It may make them feel safer, but the fact that some very simple gear (a motorcycle helmet and ample body padding, for example) renders rocks just about useless, it may not do much to provide any measure of actual safety.

Predictably, social media was aflame with opinions on the matter.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.

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