As a preemptive measure against active shooter situations, faculty members at Oakland University are being armed with hockey pucks in perhaps one of the more Michigan solutions ever.
The American Association of University Professors supplied hockey pucks to about 800 of its union members. WDIV-TV reports that the union is also working with student organizations to distribute about 1,700 hockey pucks to students.
Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon tells the station that his department is holding training sessions on how to use hockey pucks or other solid objects to try and stop an active shooter. He added that to fight against these incidents effectively, students and teachers need to be able to throw heavy objects to cause a distraction.
"We believe that once faculty have been trained in what to do in an active shooter situation, they will be able to share that information with students to provide a more secure learning environment," Tom Discenna, the union's president, tells the TV station.
The Detroit News reports the union started handing out the pucks in early November, and that the suburban Detroit university's student congress has ordered an addition 1,000 pucks. The union is believed to already have spent $2,500 on hockey pucks, and that each customized one costs 94 cents to make.
"My first reaction was: You are talking about facing an assault weapon and asking us to fight back with hockey pucks?" Garry Gilbert, director of the journalism program at Oakland University, told the newspaper. "It sounded silly. Then I went through the training session, and it all made sense.
"None of us want to face an armed assailant. Students will look to us for leadership in a situation like that."
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