A teacher gives hockey pucks to students in the event of a shot
- A teacher has gone viral with a TikTok showing how she put hockey pucks under her classroom desks.
- She said she decided to do it so the students could throw them at a potential school shooter.
- An expert told Insider he understood why the teacher did it, but said the tactic could send a “troubling” message.
A Michigan teacher has amassed more than 2 million views on a TikTok video where she showed how she taped hockey pucks under her students’ desks, so they could throw them at a would-be school shooter , but an expert told Insider the tactic could send a “troublesome” message to students.
In the video, Carly Zacharias, who teaches Spanish to Grade 9 and 10 students, said she wanted to give her students “something to prepare for” in the event of a school shooting because her classroom door is wooden and has a window in the middle.
Zacharias deleted the video on Tuesday, telling Insider, “I think my boss wanted me to do it.”
She said she decided to plant hockey pucks within easy reach under each desk because they can “really hurt someone” and “it definitely makes us feel a little better.”
Zacharias told Insider she received “mixed responses” to the viral video, but said most were positive. The clip, posted in early January, had amassed more than 400,000 likes before it was deleted, with many commenters expressing sadness and frustration that such a precaution was even necessary.
She said a student at Oxford High School in Michigan – where four people were killed and seven others were injured in a shooting in November – thanked her for “being proactive” and giving his students more than the “typical” supplies.
Zacharias said his own students were grateful that their class was “a little safer than most”.
According to CNN, hockey pucks were previously provided to students and faculty members as a defense mechanism against school shooters at Oakland University in Michigan in 2018.
Speaking about the 2018 Oakland University hockey puck measure, school police chief Mark Gordon told local news channel WXYZ that throwing a puck at a gunman “would likely cause injury” and “would be a distraction if nothing else”.
Experts fear students may be traumatized by efforts to prepare them for shooters
David Schonfeld, director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, told Insider that instituting a measure like this could suggest to students that they are “at high risk. that an active shooter enters their classroom”, which could be a “confusing” message “for a number of children” and is “not accurate”.
The Washington Post in 2018 reported that the statistical probability of a public school student in the United States being shot and killed at school has been approximately 1 in 614,000,000 since 1999. Yet concerns about School shootings are high. According to 2018 data from the PEW Research Center, 57% of teens ages 13 to 17 said they were at least somewhat worried about a school shooting.
Schonfeld said hockey pucks might cause students not to “run away as quickly” or take other preventative measures because they would be focused on the puck.
“Someone with an assault weapon stopped by a kid with a hockey puck, or even 30 kids with a hockey puck, is probably more to the benefit of the person with the assault weapon,” said he declared, adding that he would not. recommended the tactic although he can “understand why an educator might consider it”.
Still, he said the “biggest problem” is that adults need to talk to children about their anxieties over school shootings.
Some experts have raised the alarm about active shooter training in schools and said they fear certain types of drills meant to prepare students could actually traumatize them.
Melissa Reeves, a professor at Winthrop University and former president of the National Association of School Psychologists, told NPR in 2019 that certain types of active shooter training create a “sensory experience, which really heightens all of our senses.”
“And what these exercises can really do is potentially trigger past trauma or trigger a physiological reaction so large that it ends up scaring individuals instead of better preparing them to react in these kinds of situations,” said- she declared.