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Pennsylvania school district puts ‘mini baseball bats’ in classrooms to defend against shooters

A Pennsylvania school district has given students mini baseball bats to defend against potential school shooters. (ABC News/Video)
April 12, 2018

In the wake of recent mass school shootings, a Pennsylvania school superintendent has placed mini baseball bats in school classrooms in order to pend off potential school shooters.

The 18-inch mini wooden bats are intended to be used as a “last resort,” said Millcreek School District Superintendent William Hall. The bats were distributed to classrooms on April 2.

“It’s more about the educational piece and that awareness – teaching our kids to be better prepared for these situations,” Hall said, ABC News reported.

School classrooms and offices will also be locked during school hours, Hall said.

“Our previous lockdown procedure was that we would lock doors, turn the lights out and hide. We didn’t talk about the other options of running or barricading… and how do you defend yourself,” he explained.

Hall’s objective is to “provide awareness to everybody that you may be in a situation where you have to fight. And part of that fight response is to assess your immediate environment.”

Hall emphasized that the bats are not a way of arming the teachers, but rather offering a tool that can be used in a crisis situation.

The Superintendent has received less than positive feedback from parents but plans to move ahead, since the school district has beefed up its policies on handling a situation like the Parkland school shooting, Hall said.

 

One parent said she thought it was a joke.

“I thought they were joking when they said they gave out bats. When I saw them I laughed,” Jo Ellen Barish told ABC News.

She said the bats are the size of souvenirs.

“I think they really set themselves up to be the butt of a joke with them,” Barish said. “I don’t see [the bats] doing much damage. I don’t think you could even break a window with this bat if you needed to.”

Another parent, Karen Munson, told ABC News that she is completely in favor of having these bats in the classrooms.

However, both parents agreed that they favor preventative solutions rather than solutions that involve an active shooter situation.

Recently, a school in eastern Pennsylvania placed five gallon buckets of rocks in each classroom for defense in the event of an intruder.

“Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone. If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full students armed with rocks and they will be stoned,” said Blue Mountain School District Superintendent Dr. David Helsel.