This School District Thinks Arming Kids With Rocks Will Save Them During School Shootings

little kid holding rocks
Jarin13

Despite the fact that we're less than three full months into 2018, the United States has already had 17 school shootings that resulted in at least one death or injury. As actual gun legislation stalls, students, parents, and schools are forced to come up with their own "solutions" to this massive problem. And because we seem to be living in a world turned completely upside down, a school district in Pennsylvania has armed its students with rocks to help them fight school shooters -- no, seriously. 

  • The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, announced the new safety strategy.

    As he sat in front of the House Education Committee, Dr. David Helsel defended his decision. "Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone," he said, according to WNEP. "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.”

    According to Helsel, river stones are the perfect size for children's hands, and when they are thrown hard "they will create or cause pain, which can distract." 

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  • Thankfully, the rocks aren't their only line of defense.

    Like many schools around the country, the Blue Mountain School District went through ALICE training, which is an active shooter drill that cleverly stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. 

    Helsel said that the school has taken precautions to keep the building secure and that the rocks are supposed to be a "last resort" in the event of an active shooter. "We have devices installed in our doors that help to secure them, to make it very difficult to break through," said Helsel. "We also have, we train kids and talk about barricading the doors."

    And while it's clear to most of us that school safety strategies shouldn't involve terrified kids pelting river rocks at mass shooters, there are plenty of people who agree with the superintendent's plan.

  • WNEP spoke with a senior at Blue Mountain High School who was all for the idea.

    “It matters because it will help protect the schools," he said. "Anything helps, rocks are better than books and pencils.”

  • Plenty of parents also took to social media to share their support for rock-wielding schoolkids.

  • Some even believe that preparing kids to possibly stone school shooters to death would "empower" them.

  • However, others were understandably appalled by the "ludicrous" idea.

  • Because relying on kids to stop active shooters with rocks probably isn't the best solution to this problem.

  • But we understand that school officials are under a lot of pressure and we all want to make schools safer for kids.

    Teachers want students safe, parents want students safe, and students want to be safe. We're still looking for solutions and working toward change, and in the meantime, everyone has to take precautions, we get it. But it should absolutely go without saying that expecting kids -- in any grade -- to stop machine guns with river rocks is just as dangerous as it is stupid. 

education gun violence