As students head back to the classroom, school shootings in the United States have increased at an alarming rate, prompting some teachers like Berkley School District Spanish Teacher Carly Zacharias to think outside of the box.

In a viral TikTok video with over 2.1 million views and counting, the educator suggested giving students their own hockey pucks to defend themselves. The unusual active shooter hack has been met with praise, shock and criticism.

“Hy teachers,” Carly Zacharias began the video. “So if you’re like me, you’ve probably been doing a lot of thinking recently about your school’s safety. I just had an idea and I wanted to share it, so feel free to steal it.”

@crzachar #teachersoftiktok #schoolsafety ♬ original sound – Carly Zacharias

Showing off her classroom, the Michigan Spanish teacher detailed how the room had large, exterior-facing windows, as well as glass on the front door where someone could see inside. While she listed “Plan A” as climbing out the window and getting to safety across the street, as well as “Plan B” as barricading the door and fighting, she said that her door is also easier to break down because it is wooden and not made of metal.

“I thought, what can I give every single student just to prepare themselves?” she explained. “A Hockey puck.”

“It can really hurt you,” Spanish teacher Carly Zacharias stated, especially when 30 are thrown at you, which is the size of her typical class.

She said that she kept them on the desks but her students fidgeted with them too much, so she ended up taping them to the bottom of all of their desks with double-sided tape for easy access.

“Obviously, it’s just a deterrent,” she said in the video, “but it definitely makes us feel just a little bit better.”

Carly Zacharias's Spanish classroom in Michigan's Berkley School District
Carly Zacharias’s Spanish classroom in Michigan’s Berkley School District. Photo Credit: TikTok

While some teachers praised the video and called the hockey pucks a great idea, others called the teacher crazy. Many felt the need for a hockey puck hack was disturbing. The idea that teachers and students need to come up with strategies like this depressed many of the video’s viewers.

“The way you said ‘you all know how it is’ scares me,” one commenter from Europe said. “In Europe, I have never had to have a way to defend myself in school.”

“Teachers spending their own money so that students have something to throw at shooters,” ironically remarked another commenter, adding that the classroom “hack” was incredibly grim. “Everything is fine.”

Many schools nationwide are also strapped for funds, especially during the pandemic. Teachers’ unions and educators across the country have long fought not just for more funding in education and higher pay, but also stricter gun laws to protect themselves and their students.

Back in December, a charity event at a local hockey game gained national media attention when teachers were asked to crawl around on their hands and knees to collect cash dumped in the center of the ice rink as part of some twisted game. Many people online compared it to the Netflix series Squid Game, in which competitors risked their lives by playing games just to get out of debt.

Some schools around the country have even armed classrooms with guns loaded with blanks, as active shooter drills are now mandatory preparation for schools nationwide.

According to Everytown, an anti-gun non-profit that was created in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, even just the active shooter drills can be highly traumatizing to young students.

The anti-gun organization reported a study detailing a 42% hike in feelings of anxiety and stress due to school shootings, as well as a 39% increase in depression and school counseling among students who just completed active shooting drills.

“Thank you for being so committed to protecting your students,” the official March for Our Lives TikTok account responded to Carly Zacharias’ video, adding that we still, “have to fight for a reality where we don’t need those hockey pucks.”