Picture yourself as the parent of a US middle schooler. Now picture you get a letter from a school administrator asking you to have your child bring in an 8 oz canned food item. “Great!” you think. “Canned food drives are helpful to the homeless and destitute!” Then you read the rest of the letter and find out that the food isn’t going to be used to feed the needy, but will instead be weaponized for use against school intruders.
That’s actually a thing that is happening right now. God, I love this country sometimes.
Priscella Holley, Principal of W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama* is, like most school administrators, justifiably concerned about the possible presence of intruders on school grounds. Where Principal Holley differs from most administrators, however, is in the fact that her solution to the potential problem is less “call the police” or “have evacuation/lockdown procedures in place” and more “pelt the criminals with baked beans.” The aforementioned letter was sent out just over a week ago, and reads, in part:
“We realize at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off guard,” she wrote in the letter, published by TV station WHNT in Huntsville.
“The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive,” Holley wrote. “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 their classroom.”
Sadly, it would appear no one has thought to ask the obvious questions of Principal Holley, such as “why not just give the kids nunchucks,” “what is the air speed of a laden can of creamed corn,” and “are you fucking high?” Holley does insist that the projectile pea assault would be a “last resort” and that if they weren’t used by the end of the year, all the collected cans would be donated to a local food pantry.
While I obviously don’t want to see any kids put in danger, I can’t even pretend that I’m not desperately hoping for a follow-up story where a deranged criminal is put down by the combined efforts of Goya Black Beans and 13-year-old Sarah Pennington’s golden throwing arm.
* Alabamans are frequently noted for their creativity in place names, evident in such notable locales as Forest, Alabama, Swamp, Alabama, and Thin-Little-Strip-of-Land-Between-Two-Watery-Things-What-Do-Y’all-Call-Those-Again, Alabama.