School Arms Kids With Canned Goods in Case a Shooter Shows Up

Thinking about potential school shooters is something no parent wants to do, but with so many awful stories in the news, and especially after the Newtown massacre rocked our sense of security over two years ago, it's hard not to want to think of new ways to keep our kids safe. However, one school in Alabama seems to have the wrong idea -- they've opted to "arm" their kids with canned goods.


Seriously, you guys. W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama has asked students to bring in canned goods from home "in an effort to fight off intruders in the event of an active shooter situation."

Got that? If a psycho waltzes into your classroom and starts shooting everything up, throw a can of crushed tomatoes or pumpkin pie filling at 'em! Don't you feel safe now?

This is so bizarre it hardly seems like it could be real. However, a special letter was sent home to parents to explain their reasoning.

We realize at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard. The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive. The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters the classroom.

The initiative apparently stems from and emergency program called "ALICE," which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. It's to be used in active school shooter situations, and the throwing of the canned goods falls under the "Counter" measure. School officials say it would be a "last possible option" if such a terrifying scenario actually occurred.

OK, I get what they're trying to do here -- empower the kids. But seriously, what junior higher needs that added level of worry? How is it empowering to tell an 11-year-old that they should be ready to take down someone with a gun with nothing but a can of soup?

Sorry, call me crazy, but I don't want my kids throwing things at school shooters. I want them hiding, not making a sound, playing dead, whatever to keep themselves innocuous. Maybe it's because my kids have terrible aim (there talents lie elsewhere), but the last thing I want them to do is draw the attention of someone with a gun toward them.

This whole initiative seems silly at best, dangerous at worst. Thankfully school shootings are few and far between, so it's not an everyday concern ... but really we should be able to come up with some better options to keep our kids safe than to arm them with pantry items.

What do you think about asking kids to bring in canned goods to counter school shooters?


Image via Michael Feagans/Flickr

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