Millcreek Township, PA – A Pennsylvania school district has armed its teachers with small baseball bats in case they have to confront a gunman.
Millcreek Township School District handed each of the approximately 500 teachers who teach in the district’s schools a 16-inch bat on Monday, as part of their training for active shooters, according to the Erie Times-News.
“The bats are more symbolic than anything,” Millcreek Township Schools Superintendent William Hall said, according to the Erie Times-News. “However, we do want to have one consistent tool to have at somebody’s disposal in a classroom in the event they have to fight.”
The school district has several options in the event of a school shooting.
“It’s not about just hiding and waiting,” Hall told the Erie Times-News. “There are options, and one of those is to fight.”
The baseball bats served as a reminder to teachers that they should fight if they had to, said Jon Cacchione, president of the Millcreek Education Association, the union that represents the teachers.
“It’s 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,” Cacchione told the Erie Times-News.
The school district said that they conducted an online survey in March asking for feedback about arming some staff or teachers with guns.
The results overwhelmingly favored arming at least some staff and teachers; however, the survey was open to people from outside the school district and people were allowed to comment more than once, so the district said there may have been some “ballot box stuffing.”
Cacchione said the teachers union doesn’t support arming teachers in the district with guns.
The Millcreek Township School District ordered 600 baseball bats for about $1,800.