Recently, lawmakers in Indiana held a public hearing into claims made by the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) concerning an active shooter drill conducted in January. Notably, ISTA argued that teachers at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello sustained injuries during the drill.
The teachers were shot at three to four times across their backs
According to the testimony of a member of ISTA, the teachers suffered welts, bruises, and broken skin. In particular, the injuries resulted from the teachers being shot at severally with plastic pellets. Gail Zeheralis, the ISTA member, urged the lawmakers to introduce changes in the school safety bill regarding the specific actions of trainers during such drills. In particular, the major concern is about projectiles.
According to ISTA, the drill involved 30 teachers from the elementary school and trainers came from White County Sheriff's Department. Notably, the drill involved sessions where teachers were shepherded into a small room and ordered to crouch down while facing away from the ‘active shooter.' The trainers then went on to shoot at the teachers' backs with projectiles coming from airsoft guns.
According to the testimony, each teacher was shot three to four times. A tweet describing the situation said that the shooting was done "execution style." As a result, bleeding and broken skin were among some of the injuries that teachers sustained.
The drill is supposed to simulate a real active shooter situation
Two teachers from the elementary school confirmed the incident as described by ISTA before lawmakers. Speaking to IndyStar on condition of anonymity, the teachers said, "They told us, ‘This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing.'" The teachers added, "They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times. It hurt so bad.”
Interestingly, the trainers sprayed the plastic pellets across the room without warning to the participating teachers. Further, there were clear instructions that teachers should not tell their colleagues what had happened in the room. Everyone was supposed to enter the room without any idea of what would happen. Teachers who waited outside the room could hear people screaming inside the rooms.
Therefore, ISTA is seriously lobbying the lawmakers to stop the trainers from using projectiles during the drills. However, the White County Sheriff's Department argued that the use of the projectiles is supposed to evoke emotions reminiscent of an actual active shooter scenario. Lawmakers have promised to act after they have reviewed all the testimony from both sides of the incident.