School district to arm teachers with miniature bats

The 18-inch mini wooden bats are meant to be used as a "last resort", said Millcreek School District Superintendent William Hall.

The Millcreek School District in Erie Pennsylvania is arming its teachers with baseball bats in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Hall called the bats "symbolic" and they will be locked up in classrooms, but said it was an option for educators to use in case a shooting arises.

The district bought 600 bats for about $1,800, Hall told the Times-News.

In the wake of recent school shootings, there have been many discussions and protests about gun violence and safety.

The three-day candidate filing window began on Wednesday and comes as a statewide teacher walkout over school funding continues in its second week.

All 470 of the district's teachers received the bats on April 2, a school official told The New York Times.

The Blue Mountain School District, also in Pennsylvania, suggested giving both students and teachers buckets of rocks as a defense against possible attackers. Shortly after the Parkland shooting, the district sent out a survey asking how parents would feel about arming people at its schools who were not police officers.

An online question asked if the district had a policy on metal detectors at schools, and Miller said studies have shown that for schools of a size similar to North Penn, metal detectors could add up to two hours to the time it takes students to enter, before considering the costs of staff to monitor and maintain them.

Several teachers said they would be on the ballot. Are we seeing an influx of weapons?' That's a consideration this community has to make: "is that one of the layers that you want to use", Miller said.

"I've heard from teachers that this is upsetting enough to an elementary teacher that some of them are looking to leave", Zahn said.

It's part of the Trojan Response plan - we're not making it up - which stands for: "Threat assessment", "Run", "Obstruct and barricade", "Join forces", "Attack", and "Never give up".

"We knew something would change and we were prepared to change", he said.

"Fair and equitable school funding based on student need is fundamental for public schools to ensure every child gets the high-quality education they deserve", union president Correna Haythorpe said.

Baseball equipment including baseballs, mitt, bat and helmet.

  • Tracy Klein