US School District Arms Teachers with Baseball Bats

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. contingency / kənˈtɪn dʒən si / (n) – an event that is likely to happen

    We need to be ready for every contingency.

  2. lockdown / ˈlɒkˌdaʊn / (n) – a security plan wherein people are not allowed to enter or leave an area

    The school was under lockdown during the shooting incident.

  3. stance / stæns / (n) – a person’s opinion or position toward an issue

    I have a negative stance on violence.

  4. break in / breɪk ɪn / (phrasal) – to enter a place without permission

    The building’s management tightened up its security measures to prevent criminals from breaking in.

  5. intruder / ɪnˈtrud ər / (n) – a person who forces an entry to a place

    The intruder entered the house through the window.


Read the text below.

A school district in Pennsylvania, United States, has equipped 500 teachers with mini baseball bats as a safety measure.

Millcreek Township School District (MTSD) spent a total of $1,800 for 16-inch bats that were provided to all teachers as a tool for defense. The MTSD also facilitated a training session for teachers to teach them what to do should a shooting happen inside schools. These initiatives were implemented after the shooting incident at a high school in Parkland, Florida, last February.

MTSD superintendent William Hall explained that the mini bats could be a weapon against an attacker. The bats will also serve as a reminder for teachers to fight back and do everything they can to defend themselves and their students. Hall added that the bats are part of a contingency plan and will be used only in the event of a lockdown.

In addition to distributing bats to teachers, the MTSD also tightened up its security measures in school entrances and built a barricade around school walkways.

The MTSD is not the only school district in Pennsylvania that took a defensive stance toward school shooting incidents. Last March, Blue Mountain School District (BMSD) decided to arm not only its teachers but also its students with rocks. All classrooms in BMSD schools have a five-gallon bucket of river stones, which can be used the moment an attacker breaks in.

BMSD officials believe that throwing rocks at armed intruders is better than other safety measures like crawling under desks. This is because using rocks allows teachers and students to protect themselves from attacks.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that arming the teachers with bats and rocks is a good move? Why or why not?
• What do you think are other ways to ensure the students’ safety in schools?

Discussion B

• Do you think schools in your country pay a lot of attention to safety and security? Why or why not?
• Aside from schools, what other institutions (e.g. hospitals, offices) do you think need to improve their security measures? Why?