A Pennsylvania school district is arming hundreds of teachers with miniature baseball bats as a "last resort" in the wake of a recent school shooting that has revitalized the debate over school safety.
Each teacher in the school district will be given a small bat and receive training on how to respond to a potential school shooting, Erie News Now reported on Tuesday. The bat measures 16 inches long and appears to be made of plastic or another lightweight material, according to a video report.
The move comes after a nationwide debate on arming teachers following the Feb. 14 shooting deaths of 17 people inside a Parkland, Fla., high school.
"It is the last resort,” said Millcreek School District Superintendent William Hall. “But it is an option and something we want people to be aware of."
Hall said the bats are primarily “symbolic” but an option in case a teacher needs to fight back during a school shooting, Erie News Now reported.
The bats will cost the district about $1,800 to purchase and they will remain locked up in each classroom.
The district conducted a survey to see how the public would support the idea of arming certain staff members with guns if a measure is legalized in Pennsylvania.
“We thought just putting that one question out there would give us an idea how the community felt,” said Hall. “It was about 70 percent to 30 percent that people would favor that, but we’re not really actively planning that right now.”
On Tuesday, the school district which includes Parkland voted against a state law allowing teachers to carrying guns.