Students and Faculty at College Given Hockey Pucks for Protection from Active Shooters


Students and faculty at a public Michigan college are ready to use hockey pucks as weapons in case of a campus shooter situation.

Oakland University American Association of University Professors President Thomas Discenna led an effort for the union to buy 2,500 hockey pucks at less than $1 apiece, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday. Pucks were distributed in early November with 1,700 pucks going to students and 800 to faculty members.

“It’s just the idea of having something, a reminder that you’re not powerless and you’re not helpless in the classroom,” Discenna said.

OU’s Student Congress also ordered 1,000 hockey pucks for students, according to the Free Press. The southeastern Michigan college has a no-weapons policy.

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The idea of using hockey pucks stemmed from a self-defense training session for faculty in March where campus police chief Mark Gordon advised participants to distract shooters by throwing anything, like a hockey puck.

“Anything that you can throw that’s heavy and will cause damage, cause injury is the bottom line of what you’re trying to do,” Gordon said, the Free Press reported. “(A hockey puck) was just a thing that was suggested that could possibly work, especially when you have 20 or 30 people in a classroom and they all throw hockey pucks at the same time, it would be quite the distraction.”

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Some students found the idea absurd, however.

“If there’s an armed person coming in, why would you chuck a puck at them?” third-year student Adam Kalajian said to WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

“If I was to give you a puck, and I had a gun, would I be able to take you out?” student Jacob Gora said. “Easily, yeah. I mean, a puck is not going to distract me or stop me from shooting someone.”

Gordon stressed to the Free Press that the hockey pucks are not designed to be a primary line of defense. He said fleeing the scene of a shooting is the best advice, and if that’s not an option, hiding in a secure location is the next best choice.

Fighting back by throwing a hockey puck or through other means should be “an absolute last strategy,” Gordon said.

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Each puck has a number that people can type on the university’s website that will lead them to a donation page, the Free Press reported. The donations are meant for interior locks on classroom doors. AAUP and the student congress each donated $5,000 to the locks.

The Virginia Tech shooting inspired OU to take steps to prepare for a school shooting situation, according to the Free Press. The gunman and 32 people died as a result of the 2007 incident.

Discenna and OU’s Student Congress did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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