A rocky solution to battle school attackers

School of Rocks

(Blue Mountain Elementary School)

time magazine

(Blue Mountain Elementary School)

Buckets of rocks to protect students from attackers? One Pennsylvania school district believes it will.

The Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County has placed buckets of river stones in each of its classrooms, in case an attacker or intruder were to enter the school. This unique approach is unlike any the world has seen.

(River stones, similar to the ones in the schools)

In the extreme cases of an event of an attacker, and there is no room or time to escape, the idea was to arm students in some way for some sort of protection. As of right now, the protocol in most schools around the United States is for students to lie down on the floor and under their desks. While this may be a very safe option, if a shooter were to enter a school and your classroom, being sitting ducks might not be your best option. The superintendent of Schuylkill County, David Helsel, is very against this “sitting duck” strategy. He has remained adamant in his efforts to make sure that his rock theory would be put into action.

“Protocol has been that students lie down, under desks and basically become passive targets on our classrooms,” Helsel said. “We decided to empower our students with tools of self-defense if needed.”

(Blue Mountain Elementary School)

Over the past five years, many schools have had to deal with horrible attackers and school shooters. Parents should not have to worry about the safety of their children at a safe haven like school. It should be the one place that they know, no matter what, their children are safe and learning.

Sadly, there are many sick people who take away that privilege. Since then, schools everywhere have been working to find safe solutions to these problems. These solutions include: escape plans, safe rooms, and even police officers in schools.

This rock solution was brought about by Helsel himself. He feels that in case of a shooter situation, and when escape is not an option, being able to distort or distract the shooter or attacker with rocks can save many lives. No matter who is throwing them, and who the attacker is, getting pelted with rocks is very painful. This “last resort” defense mechanism can make the difference to save hundreds of lives. If we can create a distraction to the shooter or attacker, that can open the opportunity of taking the attacker down.

Since the school year began, each of the classrooms in the Blue Mountain School District has been equipped with a five gallon bucket of river rocks. While it may be a rather unusual defense mechanism, no one can deny its pure creativeness and potential. This is a test, and if this test succeeds, we could see rocks in every classroom around the United States.