In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a Pennsylvania school district is arming hundreds of teachers with miniature baseball bats as a “last resort,” Erie News Now reported on Tuesday.
“It is the last resort,” said Millcreek School District Superintendent William Hall. “But, it is an option and something we want people to be aware of.”
According to Hall, the 16-inch bats were distributed to its 500 teachers following 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,” said Hall. “Unfortunately, we’re in a day and age where one might need to use them to protect ourselves and our kids.”
The superintendent says the bats are primarily “symbolic”, but they are now an option for teachers to use in the event they need to fight back in a school shooting.
Millcreek Education Association president Jon Cacchione supported the school district’s decision to arm teachers with bats.
“This is a tool to have in the event we have nothing else,” said Cacchione. “Part of the formula now, is to fight back, and so I think the bats that were provided for the staff were symbolic of that.”
The bats will cost the district about $1,800 to purchase and they will remain locked up in each classroom.
Hall says the district also conducted an online survey to see if the public supports the idea of arming select staff members with guns if a measure is legalized in Pennsylvania.
“We thought just putting that one question out there would give us an idea how the community felt,” said Hall. “It was about 70 percent to 30 percent that people would favor that, but we’re not really actively planning that right now.”