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Pennsylvania School District Arms Teachers with Tiny Baseball Bats
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Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Summary: A school district in Pennsylvania has given 500 teachers miniature bats to combat gun violence. 

A school district in Pennsylvania has come up with its own plan to protect teachers, and it’s raised some eyebrows in the process. According to CNN, a district in Erie is giving 500 of its teachers miniature wooden baseball bats to fight off possible assailants.

  
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After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February, the nation has been in heated discussions about how to keep schools safe. Some have argued that more gun control is needed to stop wannabe shooters, while some have proposed arming teachers. At Millcreek Township, bats were the solution.

Superintendent William Hall said that he had chosen to arm teachers with bats because they “could be used as a tool against an active shooter just like any other item in the immediate room.”

Hall added that the bats would be locked in the classroom and only used in a “hard lockdown situation.”

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The shooting in Parkland prompted some districts to enact new safety measures such as arming teachers, hiring armed guards, or making students carry clear backpacks. The Parkland shooting occurred on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and shooter Nikolas Cruz, a former student, murdered 17 people with an assault rifle.



Millcreek Township school teachers were given the bats earlier this month. On April 2, a new security plan called, T.R.O.J.A.N., which stands for “threat assessment, run, obstruct and barricade, join forces, attack, and never give up,” was introduced to train staff on how to respond to active shooters.

Hall said to local news affiliate WSEE that the bats were 16 inches and cost the district $1,800. The bats prompted a flurry of media coverage, some of it mocking, but Hall said that the bats were mostly symbolic to remind teachers to fight against violence, not to actually be used as a weapon.

“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,” Hall 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.”

Hall also said that teachers could use a variety of tools to defend themselves and their students.

“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 said.

Hall added that he hoped that his staff would never have to defend itself against violence, but that they wanted to let people know that in a life or death situation, fighting back is okay.

What do you think of the school district’s plan? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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