Women's Issues

School Arms Students With Cans Of Food To Throw At Shooters, Because Nothing Makes Sense Anymore

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shutterstock_243185992Some days you read news stories that make complete sense, and other times you read things that are too crazy to even be an Onion headline. Sadly, this one falls into the latter category. A middle school in Alabama is in the news for sending home a letter with students, announcing plans to endow each kid with a can of food to throw at possible school intruders. This is what it’s come to, America: fighting off shooters with creamed corn.

According to WRBL, Principal Priscella Holley sent a letter (which you can view at the bottom of this post) home to parents asking that each student bring a can of food in to keep at school. “We realize at first this may seem odd,” she writes, “however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off guard. The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until police arrive. The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters the classroom.”

She goes on to say that “we hope the canned food item will never be used as needed.” (Er, yeah, you think?) And – if they’re not lobbed at some lunatic’s head – the cans will be donated to a local food pantry.

While this plan seems absolutely crazy to me, it’s apparently part of an emergency training program called ALICE, which stands for “alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate.” It’s a practice in place and adopted from Auburn University, who put out this detailed – and disturbing – video breaking it down.


Empowering students is great in theory. But this reminds me of teaching women self-defense to ward of possible rapists. We’re not getting at the root of the problem, or doing anything that will actually changing our culture of violence. These kind of solutions are like using bandaids to treat stab wounds. They might help a little, but eventually you’re going to need a better, more longterm solution or else everything is going to go to s**t.

I have read many passionate firsthand accounts of why Americans should have the right to own guns, of why hunting is a treasured past-time. I will never get it, and if that makes me obtuse in the eyes of my gun-loving peers, so be it. Time and time again it’s been shown that to curb gun violence we must restrict guns. But instead of doing that, we’re teaching our kids to defend themselves with cans of beans. We are failing our children, and failing ourselves. To say “I can’t” about this story would be the biggest understatement in the world.


(Photo: Shutterstock)