School superintendent says students can protect themselves from mass shooters by throwing rocks

A school district superintendent in Pennsylvania is raising eyebrows after comments he made regarding solutions to school safety in the wake of mass shootings.

Blue Mountain School District Superintendent Dr. David Helsel testified in front of the House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg. According to him, rocks are a viable defense for his students to utilize as a last resort in the event of a mass shooting.

“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, according to local news reports.

Later following up in his comments to WNEP, Helsel said the idea of using “river stone” as a protection measure came to him as a random idea.

“They’re the right size for hands,” he said. “You can throw them very hard and they will create or cause pain, which can distract.”


Helsel says teachers, staff, and students were given active shooter training through a program known as ALICE which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate and they routinely hold evacuation drills for active shooter simulations.

But if a teacher decides to lockdown a classroom, there are rocks in a five-gallon bucket kept in every classroom closet that students could throw if shooters get inside.

Watch WHNT’s report in the video below:

Featured image via screen grab