A Pennsylvania armed its teachers with 16-inch baseball-style bats to help fend off would-be school mass killers — and the bats weren't even wrapped in barbed wire.
Teachers of Millcreek School District near Erie — approximately 500 of them — have been armed with bats as precautionary measures against mass killers, according to the Erie Times-News.
Superintendent William Hall said that while the bats are "more symbolic than anything," they will be used as a "last resort" to fight against any school killers that might attempt to carry out dastardly plans within the halls of the district's teaching institutions.
"Unfortunately, we're in a day and age where one might need to use [the bats] to protect ourselves and our kids," Hall said, noting that the bats were a "consistent tool" for each classroom teacher to utilize.
Jon Cacchione, president of the Millcreek Education Association — an organization that represents teachers — said that the bats are "to make people comfortable with the idea that they can attack and not simply go into hard lockdown and just hide, as we’d been told in our training up to this point."
The bats reportedly cost the district $1,800.
"It really was minimal for what we hope to accomplish," Hall said.
The bats, according to Hall, are part of a district-wide school killing response plan which incoroprates a "T.R.O.J.A.N." plan including "Threat assessment," "Run," "Obstruct and barricade," "Join forces," "Attack," and "Never give up."
Other preventative and responsive measures include erecting concrete barriers along a school walkway, reevaluating existing security measures, and purchasing "Stop the bleed" kits for classrooms, among other plans, which can be reviewed here.
According to the Erie Times-News, the school district created an online survey to gauge the temperature of arming teachers with firearms in schools to protect children, should Pennsylvania legalize the move.
The outlet reported that the response "overwhelmingly favored" providing "at least some teachers or staff" with firearms.
"The only thing we’re not in agreement with as a group, although, certainly, individual members disagree, is the idea of giving teachers guns," Cacchione explained. "Having said that, we certainly don’t object to a greater presence of armed and certified police officers. But teachers are here to teach, not to be in the line of defense that carries weapons."