Curve Ball! Pennsylvania District Gives Teachers Baseball Bats to Challenge School Shooters
In a surprising turn of events, a school in Erie, Pennsylvania, has provided teachers and other school employees with baseball bats. The move comes in light of recent school shootings that have been witnessed in various American states.
A superintendent of the Millcreek Township School District, William Hall, sounded off on his support of the move. He sensationally claimed that they would not like teachers to simply be ‘sitting ducks’ when such incidents occur. His comments were to the tune that teachers would not simply look on helplessly or hide as a shooter went on the rampage.
The bats measure about 18 inches and are made of wood. In addition, the superintendent clarified that the move was also symbolic. They simply had had enough of the old policy that stipulated switching off the lights, shutting the door, and hiding. This time, they were ready to take this into their own hands. The new arrangement would see teachers and other members of staff scan their environments for possible means to weaponize themselves.
Mr. Hall quoted the price of each bat at $3, Pennsylvania acquired 600 such bats to be used for protection purposes. While the move is a bold one by any standards, it doesn’t scratch the surface in terms of what is necessary to counter a semiautomatic rifle. All the same, Mr. Hall seems least concerned with such notions. According to him, the bats could help disarm anyone toting a pistol with one swing.
The president of the Millcreek teachers’ union, Jon Cacchione, further on supported his sentiments by saying the move was better than doing nothing. When quizzed by reporters whether the move would make a difference once a shooter is on the loose, he was unsure how the bats could come into play.
However, he opined that the move marks a significant improvement on what the policy previously was. As per his statements, all 470 teachers received the bats on April 2. All teacher aides, building staff members, and administrators, were also provided with bats.
Of course, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have borne witness of the decision by the Millcreek school district. Numerous users online have voiced their opinion on the matter. Most of the respondents range from stupefied, irate, and skeptical.
One of the comments sought clarification if the move was a late April fool’s stunt. Others were of the opinion that a ‘conceal and carry’ initiative would work better. At the same time, there were differing opinions that implied teachers and staff should always have guns on them.
One of the Pennsylvania PTA board members, Bonnie Fagan, 56, expressed his disappointment in the decision. Her son had just graduated from the Millcreek Township high school already, however, she couldn’t sit back in silence. What amazed her was that money was spent on such an incredulous thing.
However, Mr. Hall was unperturbed by the ridicule. He cited that once the public outcry following the Parkland shooting dies down, many fall into a false sense of security till the events unroll again. He further elaborated that he was prepared to face a couple of bumps and bruises in the process, even if people thought the idea was silly.
A director of the Millcreek Township Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Exley, shared via email on Wednesday that neither his organization of the Millcreek Township Police Department had been consulted prior to the decision. The provision of bats to teachers in Millcreek Township School District came as a surprise to him.
Where did the idea emerge from in the first place? Amazingly, an online survey inspired the entire move. Shortly after the Parkland shooting, the district organized an online survey. The only question on the survey was whether parents approved harming an armed presence in the school who could act as first responders in case of a shooting.
While the happenings in Pennsylvania District are strange, numerous other schools across the country have been surveying possible solutions to the school shooting menace. Just last month, the superintendent of Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, Pa, made the proclamation that every school was now equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone. The intent? To stone armed intruders before they can pull off their stunt.
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