By Emily Gillespie
October 31, 2018

To prepare for a potential school shooting, a Washington state school district is training its teachers to arm themselves–not with a gun but with an aluminum bat.

Teachers and staff at the Dayton School District, located in the southeast corner of the state, went through a safety training that included learning how to use an aluminum tee-ball bat to fend off an active shooter, King5 News reports.

The superintendent said the idea for “gap training,” a way to help teachers protect their students until law enforcement arrives, came to him last year when school staff in a neighboring county used a similar tactic to prevent tragedy.

In June 2017, two teenage brothers attacked the principal at Sager Middle School in College Place, Wash., but were thwarted when bat-wielding teachers chased them off, according to King5 News. The staff at that school had received gap training, the Seattle news outlet reported.

The Dayton School District spent $5,000 on the training, which took place in May.

Washington state law dictates that teachers can carry a gun if “he or she has successfully completed training in the use of such devices that is equivalent to the training received by commissioned law enforcement officers.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supports school staff arming themselves and is considering allowing federal funding to buy guns for teachers.

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