Two men wearing masks burst into a teachers meeting at Pine Eagle Charter School in Halfway, Oregon and unloaded their weapons. But they weren’t firing real bullets and the men weren’t real criminals – two police officers donned the masks and fired blanks in order to test the teachers’ readiness in the event of an active shooter scenario.
The drill wasn’t entirely out of the blue. The staff had received training by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and they were warned that there would be a surprise drill at some point in the future. Despite their training, the teachers did an admittedly bad job of defending themselves.
“The whole situation was horrible,” said elementary teacher Morgan Gover, 31. "I got a couple [pretend bullet wounds] in the front and a couple in the back."
Only two of the 15 teachers participating in the drill would have lived to tell the tale if it had been a real shooting.
The ordeal taught the teachers some important lessons about safety. For one, the sound of the gunshots in a simulated life-or-death situation gave teachers an idea of what to expect. Dollie Beck, 54, said that she probably would have mistaken the sounds of the gunshots as “kids’ sounds in the hall.”
Gover stated that the event "Heightened my awareness about what's around me." She explained that she spent more time thinking about escape routes and locking classroom doors to keep her children safe, adding, "I'm in charge of a pile of kids. It made me analyze as a teacher what my role is for these babies."
The district’s Safety Committee and the School Board intends to take the information and determine what to do next. One of the options is to give teachers access to weapons, but the teachers explained that they prefer armed guards. “We are tender-hearted people who give hugs all day,” Gover said. “We don't think like that."
Source: Oregon Live