Broward County, Fla., which became a focus of national attention after 16 students and one teacher were shot and killed in February by a crazed gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, made headlines again yesterday when its school board announced it would not participate in Florida’s newly-established school guardian program.
The most salient, not to mention controversial, feature of the program, recently signed into law, is that it would allow certain school employees, including teachers, to carry firearms. Some complained that the 132 hours of training teachers would undergo was not enough.
Perhaps so, which may explain why the Millcreek School District, just outside Erie, Pa., made a decision to arm its 500 teachers instead with baseball bats. And not just any baseball bats, either. These bats, one of which is pictured above, are a tad less menacing than the one Robert De Niro as Al Capone used to bash out the brains of a disobedient “employee” in “The Untouchables.”
Of the bats, which are 16 inches long, District Superintendent William Hall told reporters with CBS Erie affiliate WSEE, “It is the last resort. But, it is an option and something we want people to be aware of.”
Teachers did receive training in the use of the “weapons” — a whole day, in fact.
Hall concedes that the bats are “symbolic,” which makes them the perfect weapon of choice in the event a crazed killer shows up on campus with a “symbolic” gun.