FLORIDA: After the terrible shooting incident that took place in Parkland, Florida that led to 17 students losing their lives, a school district in suburban Erie, Pennsylvania, initiated a school safety plan. Among their revised security plan they have started handing out miniature wooden baseball bats to all 500 of its teachers.
“These baseball bats could be used as a tool against an active shooter just like any other item in the immediate room,” adding that they will remain locked in the classroom and “are only to be used in a hard lockdown situation,” said Millcreek Township School District Superintendent William Hall In an online message.
According to reports the 16-inch bats, which look like a souvenir sold at a baseball game, cost the district about $1,800.
This idea has received a lot of backlash and has been mocked by the parents and students alike.
“Congratulations your district is now the laughing stock of the entire country!” wrote a commenter on the district’s Facebook page.
“What’s a teacher is going to do, use their mini baseball bat like a lightsaber to deflect bullets back at a potential gunman???”
“Pennsylvania school district wants teachers to bring little clubs to a gunfight,” said another man on Twitter.
“The Millcreek Township superintendent must be the stupidest man on the face of the Earth.”
Millcreek Township schools issued the new security plan on April 2, along with training for staff members on how to respond to an active shooter situation.
The plan is called T.R.O.J.A.N., which stands for “threat assessment, run, obstruct and barricade, join forces, attack, and never give up.”
The backlash let the school issue another message on the social media sites stating that these bats are more symbolic than a weapon. They are to serve as a reminder that in the event of a shooting, teachers might have to fight.
“They were distributed to our teaching staff as a symbolic reminder of the district’s change in its current response from shelter in place (hide) to now include the options of running and/or fighting back,” he said.
“It is not the primary deterrent, but rather it is something that may be used in an emergency situation, and symbolizes our intent to take an active approach to defending our students and staff under threat.”
“The theory behind the attack option is to create noise, distract, or defend against an active shooter. For a classroom or office setting, this translates to books, staplers, chairs, fire extinguishers, etc. being used as defensible tools,” Hall added in his Thursday statement.
“We hope the day will never come that our staff will have to defend students and themselves. However, we want our staff to know that in a life and death situation, an attack option may be necessary.”
The school district also has implemented other security measures such as securing entrances and purchasing Stop the Bleed kits for all classrooms.
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