Superintendent stocks classrooms with mini-baseball bats to fight off school shooters as ‘last resort’

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(ERIE, Pa.) — President Donald Trump has suggested arming teachers with guns to protect schools in the wake of a spate of deadly shootings.Others have suggested hardening campuses with bulletproof glass, metal detectors and extra security.But one Pennsylvania superintendent is taking a slightly different tack — putting a mini-baseball bat in each classroom to give students and teachers a “last resort” way to fight in the event that they were confronted with danger.Superintendent William Hall, of the Millcreek School District, in Erie, admits some parents have had negative reactions to the idea — it struck at least one as a “joke” — but to him, “it’s more about the educational piece and that awareness — teaching our kids to be better prepared for these situations.”The district recently revised its policies for what to do during a “hard lockdown,” Hall told ABC News today, surveyed the community about suggestions to make schools safer.One survey response mentioned bats in case teachers or students need to fight back, Hall said.The 18-inch wooden bats — a tool to be used as a “last resort” — were distributed on April 2 to classrooms and school offices where they are expected to be locked up during the day, Hall said.Students armed with stones in ‘last-ditch’ plan to ward off school shooters, superintendent says“Our previous lockdown procedure was that we would lock doors, turn the lights out and hide,” Hall said. “We didn’t talk about the other options of running or barricading… and how do you defend yourself.”“We wanted to incorporate updated best practices, and the best practices today say you need to provide everybody with options, not just hiding,” Hall said. “Certainly hiding is the first option, running is an option and having to fight may be an option, as well.”Hall said his goal is to “provide awareness to everybody that you may be in a situation where you have to fight. And part of that fight response is to assess your immediate environment,” whether that is a classroom or a hallway or the gym.“This could be for anybody in the community,” Hall added. “If you’re in a mall or anywhere, that is an option — that you assess your immediate environment, you look to find some type of weapon you can use to defend yourself, or obviously, in our case, our students.”He stressed that introducing bats to classrooms should not be misconstrued as arming teachers, but is instead about “providing our rooms with one consistent tool to be utilized in an emergency.”“It’s not about the teachers — it’s about the room. Anybody can use this bat in the event of a hard lockdown if they had to defend themselves,” Hall added. “We don’t expect teachers to be chasing down a gunman with a bat. But we do expect them to protect themselves and our kids.”Hall added that he’s not concerned that students may use the bats to harm each other, saying besides the fact that they are locked up, there are other objects in the classroom that could be “used in an aggressive manor.”But one mother doesn’t see the point to introducing the bats.“I thought they were joking when they said they gave out bats,” Jo Ellen Barish, who has a son in seventh grade in the district, told ABC News today. “When I saw them I laughed.”Barish described the bats as the size of a souvenir.“I think they really set themselves up to be the butt of a joke with them,” Barish said.“I don’t see [the bats] doing much damage,” she said. “I don’t think you could even break a window with this bat if you needed to.”“By no means do I think the district meant them as … a big solution. I think it was a symbolic thing,” Barish said.Karen Munson, who has a son in eighth grade in the district, told ABC News she is completely in favor of having these bats in the classrooms.“Whatever the teachers need to do to protect themselves and the students in the classroom, I’m behind it 100 percent,” Munson said.Her son seems “indifferent” to the bats, she said, Though he really doesn’t understand how a mini-bat is going to protect him, his teacher, his peers in a classroom if someone is actively shooting at him.”“I could understand his point,” Munson said. She said she told him maybe the bat wouldn’t be just used to try to fight back against a shooter — it could also jam a door to prevent someone from entering the classroom.Munson said just the fact that it’s now public knowledge there are bats in these classrooms may also deter someone from coming to school with a gun.Munson said is concerned that children or teachers could use the bats inappropriately, but she added, “I think that we as a society need to do more to address the true issue here — why people feel they can go into a school and harm others the way they do.”On that point, Barish agreed. She said she would prefer to see solutions that prevent a school shooting, instead of situations to stop an active shooter.Hall said other measures as a part of the district’s revised security plan include: visits from local and state police; buying “Stop the Bleed” kits for all classrooms; and building secured entrances at some of the schools this summer.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. 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What’s Top of Mind for Customers?

first_imgWe just concluded our 2014 series of EMC Forums, one-day technology events where our customers and partners discuss how to address the most pressing IT business and technology challenges.  More than 35,000 attendees participated in 53 Forums spanning 40 countries worldwide.With IT in the middle of a secular shift, discussions ran deep into the driving issues and what is expected of IT vendors today.  We wanted to share what is top of mind with our customers and which IT issues keep them awake at night.Big Data AnalyticsBy far, Big Data Analytics has taken the pole position in the race for grabbing customer attention. In part, it may be its promise of revealing huge unrealized opportunities to improve operations by predicting failures before they happen, increase revenue by anticipating customer needs and introducing new value, or improve profit margin by finding micro-efficiencies in existing processes.Or it may be that Big Data Analytics repositions IT as a strategic lever to transition business into this era of data-driven innovation, accelerating customer acquisition, increasing customer engagement, and encouraging customer retention.Or it may be due to the fact that the Internet of Things is gaining titanic momentum with the promise of connecting billions of devices.More likely, the confluence of ALL of the above is putting enormous pressure on our customers to quickly gain an understanding of how to best leverage Big Data Analytics in their business — and no one wants to be the last one to figure that out.Deliver Solutions Rather than Point TechnologiesAnother major shift we see with our customers is they expect IT vendors to better understand their businesses and deliver solutions that help them capture the biggest opportunities while addressing their most pressing challenges.The rapid adoption of converged infrastructures has certainly spear-headed the movement of enterprises to transfer more work to IT vendors, along with the costs associated with engineering, manufacturing, managing, and supporting technology components as a tightly integrated system. But now enterprises question why convergence and higher value-added services should stop at the infrastructure level. They now expect IT vendors to fully understand the problems and challenges that face their businesses.Customers expect to tap the expertise of IT vendors and gain their advice on how best to leverage emerging technology in the context of their business.  They expect IT vendors to listen and help them accelerate adoption to gain faster time to market. And there is no shortage of technology advances: from the wide adoption of flash to the hyper convergence of infrastructures, and from Software-Defined Data Centers to End User Computing on massive scale, as well as the adoption of Platform-as-a-Service and the accelerating adoption of Hybrid Clouds.Shift to Hybrid CloudsYes, hybrid clouds are here to stay. The only question is, “how fast can you adopt the model?”Attention has shifted to decisions on which workloads should move to the cloud and which Management and Orchestration solutions to use. This enables seamless movement of workloads and data across the private and public clouds in order to deliver the best value to the customer.Amidst the confluence of all these factors, IT is forced to truly transform and that is where our customers experience the EMC Federation (EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA, and VCE) difference:Being truly software-defined to deliver more IT agility and speed at the lowest total cost of ownership;Delivering on a horizontal architecture where customers are empowered to make the best choices for their needs;Providing best-of-breed solutions, leveraging technologies from all EMC Federation companies and working integrated as one on everything from Software-Defined Data Centers to Business Data Lakes.This is what has been top of mind for our customers this year. How about for your enterprise?  How have your expectations of your IT vendors changed?last_img read more

Wisconsin takes series from No. 1 Denver

first_imgSophomore forward Jordy Murray scores the Badgers\’ third goal of the night on a wrap around in the second period. Murray earned \”game puck\” honors for his play against Denver in the 4-3 UW victory.[/media-credit]It wasn’t easy, but Wisconsin finally got a huge monkey off its back.In a fierce battle with a playoff-like atmosphere Saturday night, the No. 3 Badgers outlasted the top-ranked Denver Pioneers 4-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 15,237 at the Kohl Center.With the win, Wisconsin snapped a six-game winless streak against Denver. The first five of those contests were Denver victories last season before the Badgers and Pioneers skated to a 3-3 tie in Friday night’s series opener.Considering the Badgers’ play in the second game of their last series at Colorado College, the result Saturday night meant that much more to the team.“Taking three out of four points from Denver is always a good weekend,” senior tri-captain Ben Street said. “We had a bit of a sour taste in our mouths coming back from Colorado Springs. … I thought we responded real well tonight. To win the game like that is huge for our team — it shows maturity and it’s a big step from last Saturday.”After falling behind 2-0 in Friday night’s game, Wisconsin came out aggressive early and netted a first period goal to take a 1-0 lead 15:47 into the game.Street’s goal, his 10th of the season, came as a result of a heads up play by the 5-foot-11 native of British Columbia. After fellow senior Michael Davies lost control of the puck after making a nice move to get in front of the net, Street grabbed the puck and fired a slap shot past DU goaltender Marc Cheverie.UW carried that lead into the break, but it would not take long for the Pioneers to answer back.Just 2:32 into the second period, freshman defenseman Matt Donovan fired a shot past Wisconsin goaltender Brett Bennett from the top of the right circle for the power play goal.The Badgers remained resilient, however, and answered with another goal just seconds later. Freshman Craig Smith, a Madison native, found the back of the net with a one-timer on a feed from senior Blake Geoffrion.That goal, the Badgers’ second of the game, put UW back up one and swung the momentum back in the home team’s favor. Large momentum swings were the theme of the night.“In a game like this, there were these flow and ebbs where one team’s trying to get up and get the advantage and then the other team fights back,” head coach Mike Eaves said.“In the second period there we did some things that were uncharacteristic — turning the puck over in the middle of ice — and we had to battle back, stop doing those things and get the momentum on our side.”UW held that momentum four the majority of the second period, even adding a third goal at the 6:26 mark when sophomore forward Jordy Murray poked one just past Cheverie on the wrap around.Murray’s goal was assisted by Smith and Geoffrion, and made it appear as though the Badgers could put the game away with another one in the second period.Unfortunately for the cardinal and red, though, Denver was not about to give up just yet.At the 13:43 mark in the period, senior captain Rhett Rakhshani got an easy opportunity and converted it, cutting the lead to 3-2.Rakhshani was pleased with his team’s ability to answer the Badgers’ 3-1 lead, but acknowledged the Pioneers’ slow start was to blame for the loss.“We responded and that’s a positive, but I think in the future we’re going to have to learn how to come out harder,” he said. “This is going to bite us in the butt later in the season if we’re not prepared for that.”Still, Wisconsin had the lead going into the third and the chance to go up 4-2 if it scored first in the final period. Yet, the Pioneers stole the momentum once again, as Rakhshani’s linemate and fellow senior Tyler Ruegsegger put one through the five-hole on Bennett to tie things up at three goals apiece.For the second consecutive night, two of the nation’s top three teams were tied 3-3 in the third period and appeared as though they could be headed for overtime once again.Thanks to an excellent faceoff play by the Badgers, though, the game would end in regulation.After sophomore Derek Stepan won a faceoff in the Denver zone, freshman defenseman Justin Schultz fired a shot from out wide that Davies tipped in for the game winner.Davies’ goal, his 11th of the season, sealed the series victory for the third-ranked Badgers. It was the first for UW against DU at the Kohl Center, which opened in 1998, and the first at home since October 1994.“The best thing about this weekend is the fact when you play at that level — that’s championship level in terms of college hockey,” Eaves said. “What better way to prepare yourself for the end of the year than by playing in these types of games?”last_img read more

Tipp Minors leave it late

first_imgA strong second half display from Clare saw them beat Waterford 1-24 to 0-9 in last nights other quarter-final at Cusack Park. A late goal from Niall Hoctor saw Tipperary progress to the semi finals of the Munster Minor Hurling Championship.The reigning All Ireland champions edged out Limerick in a thriller at the Semple Stadium, winning on a scoreline of 4-15 to 2-18Afterwards Tipp manager Liam Cahill admitted Limerick probably deserved more from the game. Photo © Tipperary GAAlast_img