In response to recent school shootings, a Pennsylvania school district has decided to arm its teachers with baseball bats.
The decision comes about two months after the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. That shooting has sparked a nationwide debate over gun control and school safety.
The Millcreek School District in Erie County says its 500 teachers will be armed with 16-inch bats.
The superintendent says the bats were given to each teacher after an in-service training day on how to respond to school shootings.
“We passed them out with the goal being we wanted every room to have one of these,” Superintendent Bill Hall said.
He says the bats are primarily “symbolic,” but they are an option for teachers to use if they need to fight back during a school shooting.
“Again, for consistency and for the symbolic piece that, unfortunately, we’re in a day and age where we may need to use them to protect ourselves and our kids,” Hall said.
The bats will be locked up in each classroom and will be kept in offices of the district’s 10 schools.
The superintendent says it’s one of several recent initiatives to ensure student safety. Other initiatives include a concrete barrier around the high school walkway and additional security measures at school entrances.