Canned Response

GUN SIGNThis week’s odd news is about a school principal fighting back against school violence.

Headline: Principal: Let Students Hurl Canned Food at  Intruders 

The principal at Burns Middle School thinks lockdown procedures practiced by most schools are too passive. Instead of hiding, she wants students to throw weaponized canned vegetables at armed intruders.

A letter home last week asked parents to send cans of corn and peas to school with their children. It is unknown why canned beets and spinach were excluded, children never eat these and they just sit on the shelf collecting dust.

Alabama law allows teachers to carry guns at school, but unfortunately due to an administrative oversight, the law does not extend to 11-year-olds. The NRA says they are working on loosening these restrictions. In the meantime, the cans “give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters their classroom,” insisted Principal Holley during a press conference.

Student army
Crisis Drill: Don’t Hide, Attack!

This plan is a real deterrent. Everyone knows gunmen instinctively duck when large groups of children throw cans at them. This gives teachers precious time to overtake the assailant.

Critics of the plan note the cans are unnecessary. Textbooks, chairs and sharpened pencils are easily to hand and can be hurled at random intruders – making the students active targets for the gunman.

Principal Holley dismissed the critics, and the question of liability, noting that it is unrealistic to expect children to keep their pencils sharpened and throwing chairs would be destruction of school property – something she is keen to avoid. Further, due to budget cuts, textbooks have been sold to pay for school defense training.

Bullet-proof desks might be better, admitted the principal, but are  more expensive than her proposed plan.

University of Maryland supplies teachers with bullet proof white boards

But Principal Holley dismissed as silly the suggestion that sticks and stones found on the playground would be even cheaper. Storing rocks in classrooms would be difficult – cans stack so nicely. She further noted that there’s always the danger that children will throw the stones at each other (…and break some bones…), but children won’t do that with cans of food. Children never throw food at each other – not even in the lunch room.

“The idea just came to me when I was watching a Home Alone marathon over the holidays,” the principal later explained.

Though she has no plans to booby trap the classrooms, she is considering a curriculum that teaches students in chemistry and home ec how to make firebombs out of household chemicals for use in an emergency.

home alone
Home Alone: School Edition. You’ll Never Want to go to School Again.

The school secretary remembers the origin of the plan very differently. “It was a auto-correct malfunction,” she insisted. ‘Donate canned food to Salvation Army’ became ‘Donate canned food to Student Army’. It was just a fortunate mistake.”

Of course, teachers will have to receive professional development since can throwing isn’t a normal part of teacher training curriculum. The PE teachers have been given incentives to improve the children’s aim; adding smoke bombs and simulated automatic-weapons fire to gym class to make the experience more realistic.

One parent spoke in support of the plan. “In my day, we were armed only with spitballs and paper airplanes. Because of commie-liberal zero-tolerance policies, my child can’t bring knives and guns to school – even in self-defense.”

“We hope the canned food items will never be used or needed, but it is best to be prepared,” said Principal Holley. Plans are to eat the food for lunch at the end of the school year in a celebration-of-survival party.

It’s best to teach children that violence is never the answer – unless your school is attacked. Then it’s ok to hit the intruder on the head with a can of peas.

I’m Jae and this message is approved by the NRA and NEA.


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