AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Faculty and staff at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan are being trained to fight active shooters in a unique way – by using hockey pucks.
University police are conducting the training sessions, which were organized by the OU Union and the American Association of University Professors, to improve classroom safety for all.
The use of hockey pucks allows those vulnerable to an active shooter attack to fight back with something heavy that will also cause a distraction, according to OU Police Chief Mark Gordon.
"Hockey pucks provide the ability to be carried in briefcases or backpacks, are not considered a weapon and will meet the goal of distracting the shooter,” Gordon said.
The OU Union has distributed hockey pucks to 800 of its members and will distribute an additional 1,700 pucks to students.
"Part of the strategy for fighting is you need to create a distraction to give yourself time as a group in a classroom to rush the gunman so you can get your hands on the gun and take it away from the shooter," Gordon said.
Although police and organizers find the pucks to be a good solution to the threat of a mass shooting, some students on campus disagree.
"I found it, at first, absurd," said Adam Kalajian, a third-year student at OU. "What good will it do? I mean, there’s an armed person coming in, why would you chuck a puck at them? What’s it going to do? Nothing."
Jacob Gora, a fifth-year senior, echoed the same sentiment.
"If I was to give you a puck and I had a gun, would I be able to take you out easily?" Gora asked. "I mean, a puck isn’t going to distract me or stop me from shooting someone."
According to a release, the pucks also serve a second purpose. They're being used as a fundraising tool to equip all campus classroom doors with a lock that can be used without exiting the room in the event of an emergency.
Already, $10,000 has been raised for interior classroom locks through donations from the union and the Oakland University Student Congress.
To view OU's active shooter guidelines, click here. But be warned — the reenactments in the training video are graphic.