The gun you have is better than the gun you don’t, even if it’s a .22 or a *cough* .38. But rather than arming teachers against intruders, one Pennsylvania school district announced last week a plan to arm students with a five-gallon bucket full of “riverstone.”
Now, after being soundly mocked by social and mainstream media alike, Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel has announced plans to hire a real security guard to protect the district’s students.
Helsel told Fox News that the influx of attention came from “social media posts that took comments out of context and misrepresented our actual planned responses to armed intruders (particularly with the planned use of stones).”
He added: “This unfortunate circumstance has increased our concern regarding the possibility that something may happen because of the media attention.”
The schools do not allow teachers to be armed, but Helsel said that maintenance personnel have also acted as security guards in the past.
The comedy of errors began during Helsel’s testimony before the Pennsylvania state legislature, in which he outlined the school’s new safety program, ALICE (Alert, Lock Down, Inform, Counter and Evacuate).
ALICE incorporates more than just stone-throwing. But that’s the policy that earned Helsel national attention.
“Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket full of riverstone,” he said. “If an armed intruder attempts to gain access to any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks, and they will be stoned.”
State legislators failed to ask the obvious question—whether Helsel was also stoned when he developed this proposal. But they did inquire if slingshots are allowed to help the students pummel the intruder.
“No,” he said. “We have some people who have some pretty good arms. They can chuck a rock pretty fast.”
“At one time, I just had the idea of riverstone,” Helsel told local media. “They’re the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard, and they will create or cause pain, which can distract.”
“Obviously a rock against a gun isn’t a fair fight, but it’s better than nothing,” he continued. “I’m not sure why some people feel that it’s more appropriate to be a stationary target under a desk in a classroom rather than be empowered to defend yourself and provide a response to deter the entry of an armed intruder into their classroom.”