Sunday , February 5 2023

For Defense Against Active Shooters, Mich. School Hands Out Hockey Pucks: NPR


Hockey pucks: They're small, heavy and one college Michigan thinks – could be the perfect weapon against an active shooter on campus.

Oakland University, a public school located in Rochester Hills, near Detroit, is distributing thousands of 94-hundred hockey pucks for just that reason.

The distribution, which began earlier this month, was stemmed from a March faculty active-shooter training session following February's shooting at Parkland, Fla., High school that left 17 dead.

A participant at the training asked the Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon what items people could use to defend themselves on campus, which has a no-weapon policy, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Hockey puck was a "spur-of-the-moment idea that seemed to have some merit to it and kind of caught on," Gordon said.

The faculty union followed up on the idea, purchasing 2,500 hockey pucks: 800 for union members and 1,700 for students, the Free Press reports.

The school conducts active-shooter training sessions multiple times a year, teaching the "Run, Hide, Fight" method that emphasizes fleeing an active-shooter situation above all else, hiding if fleeing is not an option – and fighting if hiding is not ' t, either.

Fighting, with a hockey puck or other means, should be "an absolute last strategy," Gordon told the Free Press.

"If you threw [a hockey puck] at gunman would probably cause some injury. It would be a distraction, if nothing else, "Gordon told WXYZ, the local ABC station.

The police chief also suggested a group of students could "rush" an active shooter with their pucks, creating a distraction that would allow someone else to get their hands on the shooter's weapon.

Not everyone on campus was on board with this vision.

"If I was to give you a puck, and I had a gun, would I be able to take you out?" fifth-year student Jacob Gora told WXYZ with a laugh. "Easily, yeah. I mean, puck is not going to distract me or stop me from shooting someone."

"If there's an armed person coming in, why would you chuck a puck at them?" echoed third-year student Adam Kalajian. "I find it absurd."

The little black discs are meant for more than just self-defense, though.

They are emblazoned with a number donors can plug into the online university's online service, which directs any donated funds to the installation of interior locks on the university's classroom doors.

Oakland University's student newspaper, The Oakland Post, wrote in March that the school has locks "on the outside, not the inside" of classrooms.

The university's community has been trying to raise money for locks since the Parkland shooting. Along with purchasing pucks, the faculty union reportedly donated $ 5,000 toward the locks.

"Over time and using our own resources, we will make this happen," Tom Discenna, a university professor and faculty union president said in October.

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