School District Goes Biblical With Special Defense 'Weapon' in Each Classroom


A Pennsylvania school district has placed a bucket of stones in each of its classrooms to be used for defense in the event of an active shooter.

Dr. David Helsel, superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District, testified before Pennsylvania’s House Education Committee in Harrisburg last week about his decision to arm students with the world’s oldest form of weaponry.

“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,” Helsel told the committee.

He further explained to WNEP, “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.”

The stones are kept in closets in each of the district’s classrooms.

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Helsel added that the stones are not the only precautionary measures his district has taken.

He said the doors to the classrooms have been strengthened to make entry more difficult when the school goes into lockdown.

Further, Blue Mountain regularly conducts active-shooter drills, based on the ALICE program, which stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

Do you think making stones available to students to defend themselves is a good idea?

The training program was developed by a Texas law enforcement officer in the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine shooting, according ALICE training company’s website.

The officer’s wife was a principal at an elementary school, and he wanted her to have a plan in place in the event of an active shooter.

Helsel told WNEP a maintenance man at the school is also a trained security guard and is armed.

The district plans to train and arm additional school personnel, as well.

Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month, President Donald Trump suggested arming gun-adept school faculty and other employees.

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“When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in danger,” Trump declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month.

He contended that teachers and other school personnel love their students and are in the best place to defend them.

Trump said those who are gun-proficient, like military veterans and sportsmen, probably make up at least 10 or 20 percent of any given school’s faculty.

The president further argued the added advantage of having designated conceal carry members of the faculty is that potential shooters will not know exactly who they will be facing, which will act as a deterrent.

“A teacher would have shot the h— out of (the Parkland shooter) before he ever knew what happened,” he said.

The Department of Homeland Security recommends anyone who finds themselves in an active-shooter situation to respond in one of three ways based on the circumstances.

First, run if there is a clear, accessible path. If that is not possible, hide in a place that is both out of sight and ideally, where bullets cannot penetrate. Lock and barricade the entrance to the hiding place, whenever possible.

Finally, if running or hiding is not an option, be prepared to fight.

DHS advises to seek to disrupt the shooter, including by throwing items and using other improvised weapons.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith