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Teachers Get Baseball Bats to Confront Shooters in Pennsylvania District

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Pennsylvania school district issues wooden bats to teachers

"I thought they were joking when they said they gave out bats", Jo Ellen Barish, who has a son in seventh grade in the district, told ABC News today.

Superintendent William Hall, of the Millcreek School District, in Erie, admits some parents have had negative reactions to the idea - it struck at least one as a "joke" - but to him, "it's more about the educational piece and that awareness - teaching our kids to be better prepared for these situations".

Her teachers said that Melissa will need to miss two to three days of school a week for dialysis treatment, but she is always a positive student who never misses homework assignments.

The district spent about $1,800 buying 600 mini baseball bats.

Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel said the five-gallon buckets of river stones would be kept in classroom closets.

"We're just making sandwiches and in the process of feeding some of our children in the community that we feel would have been, maybe not had food this week", said Shelby Koonce, sack lunch volunteer and former superintendent for the school district of Hugo, Oklahoma.

The move comes after a nationwide debate on arming teachers following the February 14 shooting deaths of 17 people inside a Parkland, Fla., high school.

Hall said that the district conducted a poll that found that about 70 percent of people in the district would favor arming some staff members with guns if that became legal in Pennsylvania.

As pointed out by Hall, district's revised school shooting response plans were formed to consider options that are available at hand instead of "hiding and waiting". "We didn't talk about the other options of running or barricading... and how do you defend yourself".

In addition, the funding of special schools and other high needs services were not included in the new formula.

"Responding to the results of a recent survey about having an armed presence in all schools, we are confident that we can better secure our schools", Hall said in the April 3 statement.

"It let us know that some of the teachers really do care about their students to make sure that they're fed for lunch, even though they're not getting the education right now".

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