Opinion: A Plan to Throw Hockey Pucks at Shooter is Better Than No Plan

On March 2, 2018, The Mirror published an editorial on gun violence and its effects on our nation. The article called for Northwood School to create a school safety plan in the event of an active shooter. It has been nearly 300 days, and there is still no plan. There have been no emergency drills — other than basic fire drills — in at least 5 years. In the drill more than five years ago, students ran into the surrounding woods upon hearing the victory bell ring. No current students have had an active shooter drill.


Oakland University’s safety plan includes arming students, faculty, and staff with hockey pucks as a last defense (Photo: Amazon.com).

Oakland University, a public university of nearly 17,000 students in suburban Detroit, has developed a plan to follow should they have an active shooter on campus. The plan includes fleeing the scene, hiding if fleeing isn’t possible, and, as a last resort, physically confronting the shooter.

It’s the third part of their plan that has made headlines around the nation. Oakland University is arming students who have no option but to fight back. Guns aren’t permitted on the school’s campus, so they are handing out hockey pucks for students, faculty, and staff to use to defend themselves against a possible shooter armed with an AR-15 assault rifle.

It might seem like an absurd idea, but at least Oakland University has a plan.

This is an idea that could easily be implemented at Northwood. Hockey pucks are ubiquitous and they don’t cost very much. Oakland University spent just 94 cents on each puck. At that price, it would only cost $230 to arm every student, staff and faculty member at Northwood with one puck.

Having hockey pucks to fight against a mass shooting certainly doesn’t guarantee everyone will be safe, but the pucks are more than a weapon to fight back. If Northwood was to invest in one puck per student it would show that the school is willing to invest in our safety. It’s a small investment, but a huge gesture towards our protection.

The school community must be trained on how to respond if an active shooter is on campus. The smartest plan wouldn’t begin by throwing hockey pucks but escaping if you can, hiding if you can’t escape, and to fighting back if you have no other option.

Northwood doesn’t need to adopt one specific safety plan, but we need to do something. Our students’ safety should be the most important thing to the school, and without a plan, how safe can we really be?


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