In lieu of any actual gun control, folks around the country have been coming up with some pretty innovative ways to protect students from mass shootings after 17 people were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Kids at the Parkland, Florida, school are sporting clear backpacks, one school district is arming students with buckets of rocks, and other schools have been buying up bulletproof shelters for their classrooms.
Since it looks like we’re getting nowhere on any actual federal gun control measures, yet another school district in Erie, Pennsylvania, has been forced to get creative when it comes to protecting its students: arming each of its 500 teachers with mini, 16-inch bats.
According to the Erie Times-News, teachers at the Millcreek School District were handed the cheap baseball souvenirs at the end of a training session on how to defend against school shooters, which ostensibly included a few rounds of batting practice and multiple viewings of that scene from The Warriors. Sounds like a surefire deterrent against an onslaught of bullets, right?
“It is the last resort,” Millcreek’s Superintendent William Hall told Erie News Now. “But it is an option, and something we want people to be aware of.”
According to Hall, the bats “are more symbolic than anything”—a visible reminder that instead of just doing their jobs for meager pay, teachers are now expected to protect their classrooms from active shooters.
“It’s not about just hiding and waiting,” Hall told the Erie Times-News. “There are options, and one of those is to fight.”
There are a few other options, though, ones that don’t involve forcing teachers to use small wooden clubs to try to stop a domestic terrorist with an assault rifle, or even arming them, which hasn’t worked out too well so far. But since America isn’t ready to pass common sense gun laws, it looks like we’re stuck with tiny bats, rocks, and fire extinguishers for now.