An Alabama school has decided to fight off potential gunfire with ... canned diced tomatoes?
Administrators at W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Ala., sent home letters to parents requesting that each child bring in an 8-ounce canned food item. The reason? To throw at intruders on the off-chance one enters the school and opens fire.
The canned-food defense is just a small part of their active shooter-response plan called ALICE: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. The school acknowledged the request is strange in a letter to parents, which has since gone viral.
“We realize at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard,” the letter reads. “The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the 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.”
The school district's superintendent, Dr. Kelli Moore Hodge, has defended the canned goods response, saying others schools have incorporated textbook tossing and large object lobbing into their plans. She said that the can drive was out of context for parents.