School security has been in the spotlight again, with the shooting that took place last month in Florida, and the shooting in Maryland even more recently, there have been many discussions on the best policies to keep our children and school staff safe. I have heard so many differing opinions on the best course of action, including arming our teachers if they want to carry at school. I am not going to get into that debate, as I don't know the correct answer, it is just one of the suggestions.

There is a school district in Pennsylvania, the Blue Mountain School District to be specific, that has decided that every single classroom in the rural district will have a 5-pound bucket of rocks stored in closets, in case an intruder gains access to the classrooms. According to the superintendent, the rocks are to be the last resort;

"Throwing rocks is more effective than just crawling under desks and waiting, and it gives students and teachers a chance to defend themselves, he said. The district has about 2,700 students at three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school."

The Blue Mountain School District has also been trained in the "ALICE" program, which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. This is the same program that the Medford School District uses and when my daughter attended Medford they did practice drills. This is more than just a lockdown, they try to show how to effectively evacuate without anyone getting hurt; if it is possible to evacuate.

Owatonna Schools at this time do not participate in ALICE, but, they do practice lockdown drills, and have a new process for people entering the schools, including getting a personalized picture ID to be in the school during school hours. You can read more about Owatonna here.

I am all for extra security, especially in the schools, but, I am not sure a bucket of rocks is the answer. It may make people feel more secure on an emotional level, however, it really doesn't address the problem of enhanced security. For the whole story, you can click here.

Steve Frost/Thinkstock moodboard


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