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    Parents of students attending the WF Burns Middle School in Alabama were asked to contribute one 8-ounce canned food item to be used as a deterrent against a potential school shooter.

    MOSCOW, January 15 (Sputnik) — A principal at a middle school in Alabama had instructed her students to carry canned goods to use them for self-defense in the event of a shooting spree, the Telegraph reports.

    Parents of students attending the WF Burns Middle School received a letter signed by Principal Priscilla Holley, asking them to contribute one 8-ounce canned food item to be used as a deterrent against a potential school shooter.

    "We realize that at first this may seem odd, however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard. The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until police arrive," the letter said, according to the newspaper.

    The Daily News points out that the idea comes from ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) – a threat response program that was incorporated into some schools' safety guidelines as per an order issued by the US Department of Education in 2013, which is being employed by schools in 30 states. According to the program’s stage C (Counter), students could use any handy objects, such as staplers, textbooks or shoes, as weapons of last resort if they cannot flee from the attacker.

    "ALICE does not endorse civilians fighting an active shooter, but when confronted directly in a life-and-death situation, individuals should use any actions necessary to defend themselves. Counter is a last-ditch and worst-case scenario option," a statement posted on the program’s official website says, according to the Telegraph.

    Shooting sprees have become more frequent in the United States in recent years. According to a gun control activist group called Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been more than 90 school shootings in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.

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    education, defense, school shooting, Department of Education, United States
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