Pennsylvania schools are arming their teachers with very useful mini baseball bats
In the midst of a national gun debate led by victims of the Parkland shooting, one Pennsylvania school district is taking a … rather questionable approach to protecting students from another in-school tragedy.
The Millcreek School District announced Wednesday that it will be arming its 500 teachers with miniature baseball bats to fend off potential school shooters.
It didn’t take long for Twitter users to criticize the decision.
Superintendent William Hall told Erie News Now that the bats, which are only 16 inches long, are supposed to be a “last resort” and that they’re an “option and something we want people to be aware of.”
The teachers received the bats after a training day about responding to school shootings.
According to Hall, “we’re in a day and age where one might need to use them to protect ourselves and our kids.” Hall told the New York Times that since the bats are mostly “symbolic,” they’ll only be used during a “hard lockdown situation.” The bats will be locked in classrooms for the majority of the school day, to prevent them from getting into the hands of an unruly student.
Twitter users also criticized the district’s decision to arm teachers with mini bats, instead of using the budget for more pressing issues. The bats cost $1,800 in total.
Others pointed out just how ridiculous the plan sounded.
A school district armed teachers with mini baseball bats to prevent shootings. A teacher with a baseball bat will not get close enough to a shooter to even touch him. This is lunacy.
Ban video games!
Arm ROTC students!
But gun control? Useless!
— Carlos (@blazingxmexican) April 11, 2018
Superintendent says the bats are “primarily ‘symbolic’, but are an option for teachers to use, should they need to fight back in a school shooting.” I’d like to know how that’s done w/ a 16 inch mini baseball bat? School couldn’t purchase real sized bats? https://t.co/evJiZZbyd9 pic.twitter.com/VNCRa22MPd
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) April 12, 2018
School districts across the United States are looking for ways to prevent another school shooting. A rural Pennsylvania district armed their classrooms with literal buckets of rocks as a “last line of defense.” Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the fatal shooting happened in Parkland, Florida, now requires its students to carry transparent backpacks.
Hall is wary of falling “back into a false sense of security until it happens again.” He told the New York Times that “if you have to take a few bumps and bruises because people think it’s silly, I’m OK with that.”