In an effort to enable teachers to defend themselves and their students against an active shooter, a school district in Erie, Pa., has armed the educators with miniature baseball bats.

William Hall, the superintendent of Millcreek Township School District, said Wednesday that the 18-inch wooden bats are not only practical, they are also meant to be “symbolic,” The New York Times reported.

“We don’t want to be sitting ducks,” Hall said. “We’re not just going to hide.”

The baseball bats are intended to remind teachers that they should think beyond traditional responses to active shooters in schools, such as turning off classroom lights, closing the door and hiding.

“I think a bat could disarm a pistol with a nice swing,” Hall said, noting that an element of one’s response to a shooter should be to “assess your environment for anything that could be used as a potential weapon or to defend yourself.”

Millcreek Township School District purchased 600 bats at a cost of $3 each.

Jon Cacchione, president of the Millcreek teachers’ union, called the arming of teachers with the miniature bats “an improvement.”

“Is this going to make the difference if we have an active shooter? I don’t know,” Cacchione said, adding that the bats, along with other changes the district is making, are “an improvement of what we had before.”

Recently, another Pennsylvania school district gained notoriety for arming its students with rocks to defend themselves against armed intruders. The Blue Mountain School District in rural Schuylkill County has placed a five-gallon bucket of rocks in each classroom for students to throw at an active shooter.

Social media mocked the Millcreek Township School District’s decision to issue the miniature baseball bats to teachers.