With arming teachers with guns out of the question due to university policy, one school in Michigan has come up with a new defense initiative for faculty and students: hockey pucks.
According to the Detroit News, Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Michigan, has already spent $2,500 on hockey pucks, which it is distributing to faculty and students as a “last resort” line of defense against school shooters.
“Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon said the idea emerged during a training session he was giving earlier this year on surviving an active shooter situation,” the outlet reports. “Gordon, a former youth hockey coach, said since the university has an ordinance against weapons, one attendee asked what staff and students could bring to prepare themselves for a fight. He recalled once being struck in the head with a puck and said it “caused a fair amount of damage to me.'”
Gordon told reporters that it was a “spur-of-the-moment-thing” and not much of a “well-though-out strategy,” but the university faculty union’s executive committee, which was initially skeptical, warmed up to the idea after doing some research.
American Association of University Professors president Tom Discenna said that after learning that law enforcement has expressed support for similar tactics, the union decided to get behind Gordon’s idea.
“We thought ‘yeah, that is something that we can do,'” said Discenna. “We can make these available at least to our members and a fair number of students as well.”
The Detroit News cites Garry J. Gilbert, director of the school’s journalism program who was initially skeptical but has since changed his tune upon attending a training session.
“My first reaction was: You are talking about facing an assault weapon and asking us to fight back with hockey pucks? It sounded silly,” he said. “Then I went through the training session, and it all made sense. None of us want to face an armed assailant. Students will look to us for leadership in a situation like that.”
So far the university has purchased 2,500 pucks, which cost about 94 cents each, and has stamped each with the union’s logo. Eight hundred of the faculty have already received the pucks, while the remaining 1,700 are being distributed to students. The student association has already ordered another 1,000.
The school plans to gradually distribute all of the pucks to faculty and students who request them and provide training on how best to use them in an active shooter situation.
The idea is for potentially “dozens” of people in any given classroom to be armed with the weapons, something Chief Gordon suggested would serve as a deterrent for any would-be shooters and “empower” faculty and students.
The teacher’s union and student government organization both hope to build off the buzz about the pucks to help fundraise for other security measures, including improving interior door locks, for which both organizations have already donated $5,000 each.
H/t The College Fix.