Erie County school district gives teachers bats to fight school shooters
A school district outside Erie is giving its teachers small baseball bats as a reminder that fighting back is an option if confronted by a school shooter, according to GoErie.com .
The website reports that the Millcreek Township School District distributed the 16-inch wooden bats to all 500 of its teachers at an in-service training day last week on how to respond to school shootings.
Millcreek Township Schools enroll about 6,800 students in a suburb outside of Erie.
Superintendant William Hall said the bats were symbols that fighting back or disrupting a school shooter were options in the district’s overall response, outlined with the acronym “TROJAN:” Threat assessment; run; obstruct and barricade; join forces; attack; and never give up.
“It’s not about just hiding and waiting,” he told GoErie.com. “There are options, and one of those is to fight.”
Jon Cacchione, president of the union representing Millcreek’s teachers, also supported the bats, which will also be kept in offices and other areas of the school. They cost about $1,800 in total, GoErie reported.
Modern school shooting response training, including the ALICE program taught by a company out of Ohio and used at many Southwest Pennsylvania schools , often includes an option to distract or disrupt a school shooter by throwing objects or fighting back, potentially buying others time to flee or even stopping the shooter entirely.
Last month, the Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County gave each classroom a 5-gallon bucket of river rocks to hurl at an attacker as a last resort.
Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, email@example.com or on Twitter @msantoni.