An eastern Alabama school principal is asking students to bring cans of food such as corn and peas as a way of fighting off a school intruder.

W.F. Burns Middle School Principal Priscella Holley said in a Friday letter to parents that a can could stun an intruder "or even knock him out" until police arrive.

Holley wrote that the cans would empower students if an intruder enters their classroom at the school in Valley, Alabama.

Chambers County Schools Superintendent Kelli Hodge told The Associated Press the letter was sent after school employees received training from Auburn University's public safety department.

Hodge says throwing cans or other items would be a last resort for students unable to evacuate. She says the cans would be stored in classrooms and students wouldn't be carrying them around school.