Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Indiana teachers shot with pellets during school shooting drills ‘without warning’

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

During an active-shooter training exercise at an Indiana elementary school, officers from the local sheriff’s office lined up the teachers in a kneeling position and shot them in the backs with plastic pellets.

One of the teachers, who spoke with the Indianapolis Star, stated that the 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. They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times. It hurt so bad.” said the teacher, who asked to remain nameless.

In response to the incident, the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) is now lobbying lawmakers to “add language prohibiting teachers from being shot with any sort of ammunition to a school safety bill working its way through the Statehouse.” During testimony before state legislators this week, the ISTA detailed the teacher’s experience in an effort to promote a provision that would bar trainers from shooting school staff members or students with any kind of projectiles during drills. The provision would be an amendement to a new school safety bill that calls for requiring schools to conduct annual active shooter drills.

So in New Zealand lawmakers are responding to a mass shooting in America by banning semi-automatics but in America, we respond by literally shooting teachers.

The ISTA says that educators were left with bruises and welts and in some cases blood was drawn:

“We need to use common sense — and not use these extreme methods of training,” said Dan Holub, executive director of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez made an excellent point, writing on Twitter:

Teachers and administration in Indiana were supposed to be receiving what is called ALICE training, an approach which encourages students and teachers to be proactive in their response to an active shooter. However, ISTA official Barabara Deardroff stated that she has worked with teachers in several districts that have gone through ALICE and that “this did not happen” and is “not the normal practice.”

Meanwhile, the White County Sheriff said this week that the department will no longer use the air-powered pellet gun when conducting drills with teachers after receiving complaints.

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