US teachers demand change after execution-style shootings with pellet guns in school shooter drill

Teachers suffer physical wounds and demand legislative change after violent active-shooter drill

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 22 March 2019 16:20 GMT
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Teachers in Indiana have demanded legislative change after being forced to endure execution-style shootings by local law enforcement using pellet guns during an active-shooter drill.

The elementary school teachers in Monticello, Indiana suffered physical wounds, including bruises, welts and abrasions when they were shot by the plastic pellets, according to a new report.

The teachers reportedly screamed in horror and pain during the training, as they were told to face the walls of their classrooms and kneel down before being shot by the officers.

The Indiana State Teachers Association has called on lawmakers in the state to add an amendment to a new school-safety bill “so that more reasonable limits are placed on these drills.”

"The teachers were terrified, but were told not to tell anyone what happened," the group said in a statement. "Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated."

“No one in education takes these drills lightly,” the statement continued. “The risk of harming someone far outweighs whatever added realism one is trying to convey here.”

Officers conducting the voluntary training did not initially inform the school teachers they would be shot at with plastic pellets, according to a report published in the Indianapolis Star.

“This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,” said one of the officers, according to a teacher who spoke to the local newspaper anonymously.

Gail Zeheralis, director of government relations for the Indiana State Teachers Association, told the outlet the group was seeking “a simple statement in this bill that would prohibit the shooting of some type of projectile at staff in an active-shooter drill.”

Other officials with the teachers association said the shooting of teachers “is not the normal practice” and had not occurred in other state active-shooter trainings.

The active-shooter training carried out at the Indiana school is known as ALICE, which stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.”

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The drills typically inform teachers and students how to escape shootings by exiting the building through classroom windows, throwing objects and distracting intruders, among other responses. They do not always involve officers firing pellets and other plastic products, though it has occurred in several other reported examples.

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