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Teachers Suffer Minor Injuries After Being Shot With Pellets During Active Shooter Drill

Teachers at an Indiana elementary school were injured when they were shot with plastic pellets during an active shooter drill.

With concerns about the trauma children may experience during these drill, the story’s gone viral.

People, especially parents, want answers.

Teachers were left “with welts, bruises and abrasions after they were shot with plastic pellets by the local sheriff’s office conducting the session,” according to a report from The Indianapolis Star.

The report goes on to note that teachers “were asked by local law enforcement to kneel down against a classroom wall before being sprayed across their backs with plastic pellets without warning.”

“They told us, ‘This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,’” said one teacher who described the January 4 incident who spoke to the publication on condition of anonymity, citing fears that speaking out could cost them their job.

“They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times. It hurt so bad.”

Gail Zeheralis, a member of the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), testified about the incident before state lawmakers on Wednesday, March 20.

Zeheralis urged lawmakers to add language prohibiting the firing of projectiles during active shooter drills to a school safety bill.

“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,” she said in support of House Bill 1004.

ISTA’s vice president Keith Gambill said he was “horrified” when he first learned about the incident.

“I was horrified when I learned that teachers were called into a room and this was done to them,” Gambill told BuzzFeed News.

“I believe educators know and understand how horrific an active shooter event is. I don’t think we have to be so extreme in training individuals for this.”

Others concurred.

The news is a hot topic as the world reels from the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 50 people dead after a white supremacist used automatic weaponry to storm two mosques during Friday prayer services.

Teachers were receiving ALICE training––that’s an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate––which informs teachers and students how to take a “proactive” approach in their response to a situation where an active shooter might be present on campus.

Such tactics include rushing a shooter.

ALICE’s Facebook page claims that the program “empowers individuals to participate in their own survival in the critical time between the start of a violent event and the arrival of law enforcement.”

Active Shooter Drill
Alice Training Institute/Facebook

White County Sheriff Bill Brooks, whose department conducted the training, said the department had conducted similar active shooter drills for years and that these drills involved the use of an airsoft gun, which employ plastic pellets 4.6 mm in diameter.

“It’s a soft, round projectile,” he said. “The key here is ‘soft.'”

“They all knew they could be [shot],” he added.

“It’s a shooting exercise. We were made aware that one teacher was upset. And we ended it.”

The Meadowland staff members who spoke to The Indianapolis Star dispute Brooks’ claim.