A Pennsylvania school district is arming its teachers with baseball bats in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
And not even full-sized bats to boot.
Amid unpopular recommendations of arming teachers with guns, Millcreek School District decided to give teachers 16-inch wooden bats instead. The district conducted a training day, during which it equipped 500 school teachers with the bats and guided the faculty on how to respond to a school shooting.
According to William Hall, the school’s superintendent, the bats are primarily “symbolic” but a “last resort,” and “an option and something we want people to be aware of.”
"We passed them out, with the goal being we wanted every room to have one of these,” said Hall. “Unfortunately, we're in a day and age where one might need to use them to protect ourselves and our kids."
Millcreek Education Association President Jon Cacchione also backed-up the move, which will result in baseball bats locked up in each classroom.
"This is a tool to have in the event we have nothing else,” he said. "Part of the formula now, is to fight back, and so I think the bats that were provided for the staff were symbolic of that.”
For obvious reasons, people are skeptical about effectiveness of this particular security measure.
They better swing fast at the incoming bullets! 😒https://t.co/LxWXzx18yM— Cowboy Kal (@RightWingLawman) April 11, 2018
Buckets of rocks and baseball bats, but if you suggest arming them with something that works, you get drowned out by screaming.— planefag (@planefag) April 11, 2018
I can't describe my disgust.https://t.co/Zgm0Kb7TBL
You just can't make this stuff up. Bats. Really. How about harding soft targets instead? Learn from the Israelis. Until you make the schools less lucrative you will continue to see them in the headlines. https://t.co/o13R02KnyO— Mike (@jake91211) April 11, 2018
It's not wrong to say such measures are to give false illusion of security, because in case of an emergency situation, these wooden bats won't stand a chance against deadly weapons. But, since the lawmakers haven’t taken any satisfactory corrective measures despite the nationwide outcry, these are the desperate, toothless measures schools must take to protect students.
As Hall pointed out, the district’s revised school shooting response plans were formed to consider options that are available at hand instead of “hiding and waiting.”
Moreover, the institution has placed additional security measures at school entrances.
The district also delved into the contentious debate of arming staff members with guns. It conducted an online survey to see how the public felt about it.
“We though just putting that one question out there would give us an idea how the community felt,” Hall said. “It was about 70 percent to 30 percent that people would favor that, but we’re not really actively planning that right now.”
The Millcreek School district isn’t the only one to introduce questionable security measures, as last month another Pennsylvania district said it was arming teachers and students with buckets of rocks.
The district spent about $1,800 to purchase the bats.
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