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Pa. superintendent: Arm kids with rocks against school shooters

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. - A superintendent in Pennsylvania thought old-school when scouring for ideas to protect students against potential school shooters: a bucket of rocks.

Instead of leaving the issue in the hands of lawmakers, Blue Mountain School District Superintendent Dr. David Helsel is putting river stones in the hands of students, according to ABC affiliate WNEP.

"Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone," Helsel told 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."

It's obviously not the school's sole solution to shooters -- Helsel said teachers, staff, and students also took part in an active shooter training program and regularly hold evacuation drills for active shooter simulations.

But if it comes down to it, Helsel said students can chuck the rocks.

"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.

Some students and parents said they were in favor of the idea, with one student telling WNEP, "Rocks are better than books and pencils."

But others called the idea "comical."

The district has an armed security employee and has plans to help more support staff get the same security certification.


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