School district to arm students with rocks

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA - A school district in rural Pennsylvania has armed its students with rocks as protection against the possibility of a school shooter.

Dr. David Helsel, Superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District, about 40 miles west of Allentown, said students are being trained on how to handle emergency situations, and are learning to supplement the school's security systems. He said they learn to barricade doors and to distract potential shooters so staffers can stop them.

As part of that, he said each classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stones, and said anyone who enters a classroom with a weapon will face a room full of students ready to stone them.

"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 says. %INLINE%

The superintendent says the rocks are a last resort. He said teachers, staff and students were given active shooter training through a program known as ALICE which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate and they routinely hold evacuation drills for active shooter simulations.