Is that a hockey puck in your pocket or are you just happy so see me?

Via Great Falls Tribune:

To prepare for an active shooter, faculty and students at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, are arming themselves with hockey pucks.

The idea of using the quirky self-defense tool grew out of a training session that University Police Chief Mark Gordon led in March for faculty members on what they should do if a gunman enters their classroom.

A participant asked what people could bring to campus to be better prepared in case they need to fight back. The university has a no-weapons policy.

Gordon’s advice: Be ready to throw something — anything — that could distract a shooter, even a hockey puck, as a last resort if fleeing or hiding aren’t an option.

“It was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment idea that seemed to have some merit to it and it kind of caught on,” Gordon said.

Following up on the suggestion, Tom Discenna, a professor of communication and president of the faculty union, spearheaded an effort by the union to purchase 2,500 hockey pucks for 94 cents each — 800 for union members and another 1,700 for students. Distribution of the pucks on campus began earlier this month.

“It’s just the idea of having something, a reminder that you’re not powerless and you’re not helpless in the classroom,” Discenna said.

The little black discs have a dual purpose: They are also part of a campaign to raise funds to install interior locks on classroom doors. Some doors are only lockable from the hallway.

The pucks are imprinted with a number that people can enter on the university’s website to donate money toward the new locks.

“We know locking the classroom, in and of itself, is a big deterrent” to a shooter being able to enter the room, Gordon said.

The American Association of University Professors union has donated $5,000 toward new inside locks for the 37 classrooms in South Foundation Hall. The student government, Oakland University Student Congress, has made a donation in the same amount for new locks in an as-yet-to-be-determined building.

The student congress also recently ordered 1,000 hockey pucks that it intends to distribute to students.

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