Pennsylvania School District Puts Buckets of Rocks in Classrooms to Fight Off Active Shooters

“At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost….” That’s the opinion of Dori Bernstein, the parent of a Blue Mountain (Pennsylvania) School District student. And how creative did Blue Mountain administrators get in providing protection for their charges?

“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 Dr. David Helsel, testifying to the House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg.

It’s good to see student safety taken seriously. After the serial failures of school administrators and local law enforcement that resulted in the Parkland massacre, with students left to fend for themselves as the local resource officer waited outside listening to the carnage unfold, the Blue Mountain powers that be don’t wan’t to leave defenseless students at the mercy of a killer with nothing but their…pencils in their hands.

The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District was explaining his unconventional form of protecting the students in their schools in the event of an active shooter situation: give them rocks.

“At one time I just had the idea of river stone, they`re the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard and they will create or cause pain, which can distract,” said Helsel.

And distracting an active shooter could possibly delay him long enough for local law enforcement to reach the scene and engage the shooter. If, that is, they choose to do so.

But not everyone thinks this is a practical line of defense.

“I think that’s rather comical,” said one college student in Schuylkill Haven.

“It’s absurd, arm the teachers,” said a parent in Schuylkill Haven.

Now there’s a thought. If only there were some kind of small, easily carried kinetic device that responsible teachers could be trained to use and entrusted with that might be even more effective in stopping an attacker at a distance than tossing river stones. If only.

But if you think that Superintendent Helsel’s idea is dumber than a bucket of rocks, he’s not relying completely on his students’ throwing skills to keep them safe.

Helsel says the district has no plans to arm teachers, however, Blue Mountain does have a maintenance employee who is trained and certified to work as school security and is armed.

And the district plans to have more support staff get the same training to act a security.

 

comments

  1. avatar Flinch says:

    Needs more black rocks or as I like to call them MSR or modern sporting rocks.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        I, for one, hope those buckets are filled with a geologically-diverse selection of planetary crust examples, preferably locally-sourced and native to the location…

        1. avatar Flinch says:

          So if someone is ambidextrous does that mean those are now semiautomatic assault rocks? Do they use 30 round rock buckets? I’d recommend some iron ore rocks in case the perp is wearing body armor.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      That’s right!! There were black rocks around when the Second Amendment was written and ratified, so we’re allowed to have them.

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      Get a Can Cannon and load it with a cement-filled soda can. Same thing.

      Or are we still boycotting Xproducts over what their asshole CEO said?

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Oh damn, that’s cold-blooded!

        “A soda can was seen protruding from the felled attacker’s temple…”

    3. avatar pieslapper says:

      This demonstrates that they are not opposed to the ballistic defense of our children. Why then limit that defense to actual stone age technology? Do our children not deserve better?

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        It’s a step in the right direction. You might think it’s a clumsy and silly step, but — it’s a step. Providing SOME sort of defense, implies that yes, we can and should defend ourselves if even as a last resort.

        I think it’s silly, but I thoroughly applaud that they’ve at least taken this step.

        In Britain you’d probably be castrated for even thinking of throwing a rock back at a mass shooter. At least we’re giving the kids rocks (man, that sounds sad.)

        1. avatar Ret1SG says:

          Not sad…EFFIN’ pitiful>> Do the right thing!!

    4. avatar MIJames says:

      Flinch

      Don’t forget about those high capacity buckets for the MSR.

    5. avatar Ret1SG says:

      No!!! Black rocks are “scary and high powered weapons”!! You could kill someone with one of those(maybe if you’re a baseball player)!

  2. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Maybe the district can have pitching practice in PE classes…

    It’s about as symbolic as trying to ban guns. Personally, I hope parents sue the district and brain-child Supt if there ever is an incident and a number of the victims were exposing themselve to throw rocks. Doing it for, er, to the children. FUNNY!

  3. avatar Patrick says:

    He wants to arm the students, but not the teachers?
    It’s going to take a few hours to get this bewildered Tucker Carlson expression off of my face.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Oh the expression that’s like he’s watching someone eat a bowl of mayonnaise with a spoon?

      …annnnd we’ve regressed to stoning people…

      1. Do a gelatin test with stones.

  4. avatar Ray says:

    School district probaby took money earmarked for school security, spent $100 on buckets, and spent the rest on the teachers lounge.

  5. Someone’s gonna lose an eye over that. Glaziers will love it tho.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Glaziers will love it tho.”

      To say nothing of the local emergency room staff.

      They’re gonna need an ophthalmology surgeon if someone ‘puts an eye out’…

  6. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Ban A R ‘s, assault rocks ! Time to home school if you are not doing it already.

    1. avatar SurfGW says:

      Careful with home schooling. Military had trouble with homeschoolers failing to adapt despite having higher ASVAB scores. Home schoolers generally have more trouble integrating into society. Exhibit A: Austin Bomber

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Oh BS

      2. avatar GS650G says:

        Not only are you light in facts but linking the Austin bomber to home schooling is a stretch too far.

        1. avatar SurfGW says:

          If you spend any time in military recruiting, you know that a traditional Highschool diploma (12L) is considered the best indicator of success and the military aims for 98% if recruits to be 12Ls. Home schoolers are placed in the same category as GED’s but if they score over 50 in the ASVAB and take an additional test, they can be waivered at a General Officer level if they need to exceed the number. If you have any data to show differently, then post it; if you don’t have anything to offer, don’t say I am light on my facts. I am willing to look at data if we drew the wrong conclusions.

        2. avatar Sam says:

          I was homeschooled, something that always seems to shock people when I mention it because I can make friends with complete strangers anywhere… and they expected social awkwardness… though maybe being friendly and carrying full conversations with adults at the age of 8 is socially awkward? I grew up near the US Naval Academy, as my father taught there in the early 90s. We were homeschooled because he wasn’t impressed with the public schools in the Arnold/Annapolis area though everyone there tends to think they are good. My sister’s and I all started taking community college classes at an age between 12 and 16, and generally kicked everyone’s asses academically even though they were all high school graduates. When I took the placement tests at the age of 15, the overseer said as much. The only reason I took differential equations when I was 18/19 was because I took a year off from math.

          We had a friend who did admissions at the US Naval Academy, and he stated that at one time they did discriminate against homeschoolers… because they were too free thinkers and didn’t conform too well. Perhaps your conclusion regarding homeschoolers not doing well in the military because they can’t integrate well is not so much due to their social awkwardness, but because they have been taught to think critically, and don’t blindly accept authority figures?

        3. avatar Stereodude says:

          Sam: That’s good for you, but I’m sure even you have had the experience of meeting someone who is extremely introverted and socially awkward only to find out they were home schooled. I’m not saying that all home schooled people are extremely introverted and socially awkward. I’m sure there are plenty who are totally normal and outgoing. It may even well be the majority. But, in my life experience the people I’ve met who are very introverted and socially awkward more often than not were home schooled. And I’m not talking about 51% to 49%. I’m talking like 90% to 10%.

  7. avatar Shire-man says:

    What if a teacher gets angry and throws a rock at a student or a student gets a hold of a teachers rock and hits somebody with it or simply seeing rocks in a classroom triggers a latent psycho to go beat his family with rocks?!?!?!?!

    This is all just too crazy!!!

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Ya know, after teaching in the public cesspool for 40 years, much if it inner city, and watching all the idiotic educational theories and policies from administrators and experts who never taught, foisted on good people who actually took their job of educating kids seriously (at least during the first 30 years or so), it has always amazed me that somewhere, sometime, a very frustrated teacher didn’t go all Postal on a district.

      Just sayin’…

      (And there, folks, is a good example of a run-on sentence, too.)

    2. avatar Jeff in CO says:

      Even worse, what if the rock just “goes off” like guns do…

  8. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    At least they are thinking about trying to get some of the victims to do something other than cowering once trapped and facing imminent death. Rocks are far from optimal but they are likely many times as effective as cowering.

  9. avatar Mike says:

    Though its a pretty useless thing, at least its something? May e an attacker would choose a different school…. But, that brings up a bigger point that hasnt come up when talking of arming teachers, which is, it changes the thought process of the attacker in choosing a target. Teachers dont have to be armed (though thats certainly ideal); knowing that trachers may be armed could well change where an attack happens! Remember, attackers are choosing the softest targets possible, so anything that changes that equation may mean the difference of my school vs your school being tatgeted.

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Choose a different school (to attack)?
      This is the idiocy of it all. School assaults of this nature affect what? 1/50th of 1% of all school buildings nation-wide, perhaps, yet “news” of it takes up 98% of the air time. Some of ius should try to keep things in perspective.

  10. avatar Mr Creosote says:

    Betta’ get a bucket, I’m gonna throow up!

  11. avatar Bob H says:

    Logically, they put many deadly weapons at arms reach of the entire student body. Kinda the same thing as a cabinet full of AR’s with no lock isn’t it? Except most students wouldn’t be able to wound their fellow class mates with an AR without training, where as every student could wound or kill another student with a big ass rock if they wanted.
    Basically they see the logic of armed self defense and personal responsibility… but no guns cuz “GUNZ BAD!!!”. What is a gun but a pinpoint rock thrower anyway? These kinds of situations display the logical fallacy of the leftist world view. They are almost there thinking it through logically, but the just can’t agree on arming the teachers because they can’t be seen as agreeing with Trump or promoting personal responsibility when it comes to adults. Because when a conservative says there should be armed teachers in every school, the left says thats victim blaming. Armed students with rocks, what could possibly go wrong!

  12. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    This brilliant idea must be immediately implemented at the Oscars, Emmys and other award shows freeing up police to do their regular jobs protecting and serving everyday citizens. Imagine the savings on security when celebrities can simply protect themselves with some 5 gallon buckets of rocks!!! And adults should be much more effective than children in their use. Essentially an adult might be considered a semi-auto rock-throwing self-defense ninja compared to a schoolkid.

  13. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Knowing schools, I have to wonder how long that bucket of rocks is going to be there… Also have to wonder how much the district paid for the buckets and the rocks.

  14. avatar Frank Williams says:

    So let’s see… according to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, arming teachers or school staff is a stupid idea because “a bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun,” making the 9mm useless as a defense against a school shooter. Yet now a “bucket of rocks” is good enough for this purpose. The kids at that school must have some hella good arms. Pro baseball scouts should be rushing there to sign some of them!

  15. avatar RCC says:

    Maybe some darts with extra long points instead of rocks. Probably too dangerous for a school.

    I cannot think of a polite response to this idea. A revolver, for simplicity, for staff who want to be trained and carry seems much better plan. Or even pepper spray.

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    9mm handgun=1100-1300FPS. AR15=2800-3200FPS…bucket ‘o rocks=NOTHING. You’d think this was a Monty Python bit😧Oh and I just hung up on an NRA gal asking for $. Geez I just sent in my 3rd free membership. And I’m not real happy with those duffuses(duffi?)…

  17. avatar SheepDog says:

    “dumber than a box of rocks”

    DON’T BRING ROCKS TO A GUN FIGHT
    DON” BRING A KNIFE TO A GUN FIGHT

  18. avatar SurfGW says:

    Genius! Cheap, effective, no training required. Already shown to work. Around 10 years ago in Alabama or Florida (?) students threw water bottles from Hurricane preparations at a shooter to allow staff to tackle the shooter; the story did not make big headlines since no one was killed. Please post if you find me the link.

    1. avatar Stereodude says:

      Effective at what? They’re certainly not appreciably effective in a tactical sense to stopping a shooter. Granted I wouldn’t want to get a bunch of rocks thrown at me, but we’re not talking about a bunch of major league pitchers in a circle winging stones at someone at 100MPH here. The rocks thrown by kids would merely be an annoyance to the motivated unless there’s a lucky hit involved.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        That annoyance may throw the shooter off his game long enough for someone to make a move.

        It’s not much of a chance, but it sure as hell beats hiding under your desk while you wait for him to slaughter you. And your classmates. And your teacher. And your janitor. And your principal.

        Teach them to fight back. They’ll figure out that there are better ways to do it soon enough, and they’ll figure out that those ways are Constitutionally protected soon enough.

  19. avatar dragos111 says:

    I hear there is now a movement to limit the number of rocks per bucket to 10. Nobody should need more than 10 rocks.

  20. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Bunch of Liberal f——– Nutjobs running that school….

  21. avatar johnny go lightly says:

    I see unemployed and retired AAA ballplayers getting jobs as school security officers.

  22. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    Well, THAT should make the teachers feel safe! 🤣

    What did you say my grade was again?

  23. avatar Texican says:

    I am a projectilist! Any thing that can be projected. Rocks, spears, arrows, dirt clods, water balloons, darts, coconuts, baseballs, footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, small children (I catch them!), snowballs, etc. Oh, yeah! And bullets! Lots and lots of bullets! And grenades! M37 and Mk19! 😉 All fun and challenging. If I had to choose, however, I think rocks (bullets) at high velocity from a platform optimized for accuracy not requiring much in the way of strength or coordination would be the way to go for self-defense! With multiple rocks instead of only one. So easy a child could do it! Or even a teacher! Probably too challenging for an administrator or politician, but I repeat myself. Maybe the police could use river rocks instead? Or the military. Ammo just laying around almost anywhere you go on planet Earth! Why are they using a bucket to hold these rocks? Why not a box? Shop class could make them! Please, if your progeny are in one of these insane asylums, get them out! The stupid rubs off!

  24. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Any other day, had a student brought a river rock to school, he’d have been suspended under the zero tolerance policy.

  25. avatar neiowa says:

    CHANGE the photo. Those are NOT river rocks. Those sharp edge projectiles are Assault Rocks.

    River Rocks are smooth and safer. https://stadlerammon.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/post-a-day2013-133sm.jpg

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “River Rocks are smooth and safer.”

      Damn straight.

      Wouldn’t want the school shooter to get a nasty cut that gets infected.

      They’ll sue the district for all they have.

      (On second thought, I’m liking the idea of “Punji Rocks”, sharp rocks coated with feces of various types even better…)

  26. avatar SkyMan77 says:

    I don’t know about you guys but that scary black rock is making me FEEL really uncomfortable…

  27. avatar rudukai13 says:

    Where’d they get the rocks? Did they just crack open their skulls and dump out the contents of where their brains are supposed to be?

  28. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Maybe they could supply a ballista for the school?
    I was wondering if the rocks are to put in the school personnel heads?

  29. avatar Pg2 says:

    Rocks for the goyum. Sounds about right.

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    I’ll take “Stupid Self Defense Strategies” for $200, Alex.

    1. avatar Stereodude says:

      Well, it’s probably better than doing absolutely nothing and waiting to be shot or calling the shooter(s) names, but only JUST barely. But it’s real close to the bottom of the list of possible self defense strategies in terms of tactical effectiveness.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        Yes it is. But at least it is a self-defense strategy. Which is the whole ballgame — get people thinking about this properly, that they are responsible for their own defense, and all the rest will come naturally.

        If people don’t like guns, give the teachers or SRO’s tasers. Give ’em shotguns with bean bag pellets. Give ’em rocks. Whatever. But get them thinking that yes, they can take action, and they should take action. Once they cross that threshold in their minds, they’ll figure out pretty quickly what is and isn’t an effective tactic.

  31. avatar The Rookie says:

    Well, they’ll be well-prepared if they ever have a scissor attack….

    1. avatar Meh. says:

      There is a problem with this:
      Although rock has been proven to beat scissors every time, it has never beaten paper. Unfortunately, there is a lot of paper in schools.
      Ban paper because it will beat the rock defense; who cares about the utility of paper. But wait, we need to promote scissors as a defense against the rock defeating paper measure…
      Um, if we ban paper and scissors, why do we need rocks?
      Screw it.

  32. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Very soon some student will grab one of the rocks and hit another student with it. Then the bucket will be locked up.

  33. avatar Karl O says:

    Well. This will work out along the lines of the Palistinian kids who throw rocks at the IDF.

  34. avatar rudukai13 says:

    I wonder if any of these administrators even realize that they are literally providing their teachers and students with the unrefined, stone-age equivalent of a firearm…

    “Guns in schools are fine, just as long as they’re not technologically advanced enough to actually be guns”

  35. avatar Jb says:

    Hopefully one of those is the “key stone” hat har.

    The start I call home depresses me. This is so dumb.

  36. avatar 27 Words says:

    We had a snow storm come through the Midwest last night that everyone was freaking out about. I threw rocks at it to make it stop, but somehow it wasn’t deterred.

  37. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Sad modern civilization has come down to protecting their young with rocks……. Update: wind shifted, blowing from the north, fish quit biting. No luck using green eared sunfish, aka black perch, its a little early for Flatheads but I’ve caught two Channel cat around 5lbs on worms.

  38. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Finally…dodge ball skills may come into play…

  39. avatar Bob in IN says:

    More than ten rocks is an assault bucket.

  40. avatar onezero says:

    I want to know if the environmentalists know that they have taken all of these rocks out of the river thus disrupting the ecosystem?

  41. avatar Scott Chapman says:

    Hey give the liberals a break. There making good use of the left over rocks from there heads. They had to do somthing they were getting tired carrying them around. At least they did something constructive for a change. I just hope there heads don’t explode. They accually came up with an idea that just might, maybe, possibly, potentially, help in some small, tini, tiny, mostly insignificant, inadequate, backward, duncey kind of way. So hey man give them credit. Them liberal rock brains are being use for somthing!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. avatar Rswartze says:

    Are air rifles an option for districts or individual schools that may be constrained by law or policy? Might be a more effective option than rock, although I’m sure ir would be shunned as a firearm. Maybe a renegade educator could test the waters…and if it ever worked, could be buried under a rock by MSM.

  43. avatar Bob says:

    Like throwing rocks at a charging grizzly bear. It’s only going to make the bear more angry, and get you dead quicker.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      It could always die laughing.

  44. avatar Kitty says:

    The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good student with a rock?

  45. avatar Taurus Bullbiscuits says:

    At least the rock wont go off and shoot you in the butt if you drop it, like a Taurus.

  46. avatar barnbwt says:

    Jesus, even “Anthem” was a prophetic prediction of Ayn Rand. These psychopaths will lead humanity back into dark caves in the end. Actual dark, cold caves without fire; not the Aristotelian metaphor (but also that, too)

  47. avatar barnbwt says:

    (kids crouched in the classroom with the lights turned off, clutching rocks and facing the door as the shots draw nearer)

    “We’re gonna get our asses kicked! We didn’t eat a breakfast!”

    It just struck me (and idea, not a rock); this plan is gonna back fire like a mother fucker after the very first shooting drill. Even a third grader knows that rocks vs. guns is the most retarded thing there ever was.

  48. avatar tiger says:

    The world must think America has gone nuts? A bucket of rocks…….

    1. avatar CLarson says:

      Clownworld 🙁

  49. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    A high speed ballistic projectile (a rock) is what the Liberals now admit should be used to defend children, then the children should be trained using slingshots or wrist Rockets. These are much more accurate and can develop more velocity than what a fifth grader could develop throwing a rock with their arm. Children with slingshots can be the backup to a teacher with a gun.

    A slingshot, the modern BB gun, the modern air rifle, all three of these are lethal weapons. They’re used to kill small game animals

    “Savages” 1974 movie with using a sling shot for self defense. Andy Griffith and Timothy Bottoms. 1.5 hours long. I loved this movie as a kid.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d97TY4b-gEA

    or watch the remake with Micheal Douglas

    the trailer 2 minutes long

  50. avatar CLarson says:

    I think our kids deserve more than a literal stone age idea, but what do I know, I am not a highly paid school administrator. 🙄

  51. avatar CDC says:

    Rocks,paper,scissors,or lead moving at 1000fps?
    God help us,we have become a nation of idiots.

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