Jessica Schladebeck New York Daily News
MONTICELLO, Ind. — Teachers at an Indiana elementary school said they were left bloody and bruised after local officers shot them with plastic pellets during an active shooter drill earlier this year.
The Indiana State Teachers Association has called for additional consideration regarding educator and student safety amid active shooter drills following the January training session, highlighted in testimony before state lawmakers this week, that rattled school staff.
"During the active shooter drill, four teachers at a time were taken into a room, told to crouch down and were shot execution style with some sort of projectiles – resulting in injuries to the extent that welts appeared, and blood was drawn,” the ISTA tweeted Wednesday evening.
“The teachers were terrified, but were told not to tell anyone what happened. Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into a room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated.”
Two anonymous teachers in Monticello confirmed the incident, recalling how they were told kneel against a wall with no warning of what would come next.
“They told us, ‘this is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,” one the two teachers told the Indy Star.
“They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times. It hurt so bad.”
The Indiana State Teacher’s Association has since been lobbying lawmakers to add to bill winding its way through the statehouse that would prevent similar training sessions from unfolding at other schools in the state.
“What we’re looking for is just a simple statement in this bill that would prohibit the shooting of some type of projectile at staff in an active shooter drill,” said Gail Zeheralis, director of government relations for ISTA.
White County sheriff Bill Brooks, whose department headed the January drill, told the Indy Star teachers were aware they could be shot during the session. He added that as soon they learned a teacher was upset by the practice, they stopped using the airsoft guns.
"No one in education takes these drills lightly. The risk of harming someone far outweighs whatever added realism one is trying to convey
The bill, HB 1004, mandates Indiana schools have at least one active shooter drill a year, though it provides no rules on what such training would entail. The State Senate’s Education Committee is slated to consider amendments for bill sometime next week.
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