At first glance, it may seem like a joke to some. But a Pennsylvania school district is giving its 500 teachers weapons to fight off would-be school shooters – and those weapons are little wooden baseball bats that aren’t much longer than a ruler.
“It is the last resort,” Millcreek Schools Superintendent William Hall told WSEE-TV, “but it is an option and something we want people to be aware of.”
Hall told the news station that each teacher received a 16-inch bat after an in-service training day teaching them how to respond to school shootings. The bats cost the district about $1,800.
“We passed them out, with the goal being we wanted every room to have one of these,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we’re in a day and age where one might need to use them to protect ourselves and our kids.”
While Hall called the bats “symbolic,” he also told WSEE-TV that teachers could use them to ward off a shooter.
But their ability to defend themselves with the bats is likely to be limited – because the tiny wooden weapons will be locked up in the classrooms.
“This is a tool to have in the event we have nothing else,” Millcreek Education Association President Jon Cacchione told CBS News. “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.”
Hall said the district is working to provide a concrete barrier around its high school’s walkway and introduce new security measures at entrances.
CBS News reported that the district is also surveying the community to determine if the public supports proposals to arm certain staff members with firearms.
“We thought just putting that one question out there would give us an idea how the community felt,” Hall explained. “It was about 70 percent to 30 percent that people would favor that, but we’re not really actively planning that right now.”
The plan to arm teachers with little bats sparked many online comments, including the following:
- How do they think this will work? It will be about as effective as using tissue paper as body armor.
- Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Use this teeny bat instead.
- Um… Is the water from Detroit leaking into Pennsylvania? This is comically stupid.
- So the bats are locked up. The active shooter will politely pause his mayhem while the teacher unlocks the bat…geeze.
- Hahahaha, we can’t have paddles and discipline in school but bats… now bats are OK
- Congrats, Erie. You’re a laughingstock. How dumb you look.
- So they’re asking their teachers to use these miniature bats to attack a shooter and thus stop a shooting incident. That will work if the shooter starts laughing so hard he rolls on the ground laughing. Dumbest idea EVER!!!
- What a genius Idea because we all know BATS will stop bullets.. What stupid waste of money in this school district..