School district that armed teachers with rocks increasing security after media attention

PHOTO: The Blue Mountain School District in Pa., has armed students with rocks to fight off school shooters, the superintendent said.PlayWNEP
WATCH Students in one district are armed with rocks to help fend off any school shooter

The Pennsylvania school district superintendent who discussed arming teachers with rocks last week is now stepping up school security. The security will be armed with guns.

Blue Mountain School District superintendent David Helsel commented last week that the district would be arming teachers with a 5-gallon bucket of landscaping stones in each classroom. The quotes immediately brought criticism -- and ridicule -- over the practicality of students and teachers being faced with having to hurl rocks at an armed attacker.

The school district announced on Sunday that beginning this week there will be increased security at schools due to the media attention the comments received.

PHOTO: The Blue Mountain School District in Pa., has armed students with rocks to fight off school shooters, the superintendent said. WNEP
The Blue Mountain School District in Pa., has armed students with rocks to fight off school shooters, the superintendent said.

"This attention was due to social media posts that took comments out of context and misrepresented our actual planned response to armed intruders (particularly with the planned use of stones)," a Facebook post from the school district said. "This unfortunate circumstance has increased our concern regarding the possibility that something may happen because of the media attention. Starting tomorrow and into the near future, we have arranged for additional armed security for our buildings."

Helsel initially made the comments about arming schools with rocks in a state House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He didn't deny the move when speaking to ABC News last week, however.

"We've been trying to be proactive just in case," the superintendent told ABC News last week.

PHOTO: The Blue Mountain School District in Pa., has armed students with rocks to fight off school shooters, the superintendent said. WNEP
The Blue Mountain School District in Pa., has armed students with rocks to fight off school shooters, the superintendent said.

"We wanted to provide some type of last response to an intruder rather than crawling under a desk and getting shot," Helsel said.

Helsel said the rocks would be a last-ditch measure and that it "was better than doing nothing." He also said the plan was first implemented last fall.

Arming teachers with guns has increasingly entered into the public debate following the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students and teachers. President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated teachers being armed as a possible solution to combat mass shootings.