Teachers shot 'execution style' with pellet guns during active shooter training at Indiana school
The Indiana State Teachers Association said that, during an active shooter training at an Indiana elementary school in January, four teachers suffered injuries when they were led into a room, told to kneel and were then shot with a pellet gun "execution style".
The association made the revelation of the violent tactic while testifying before the state's Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, in support of House Bill 1004, which addresses school safety.
Two of the teachers injured during the training, in an interview with the Indianapolis Star, said that the local law enforcement, which was facilitating the training, told them to kneel against a wall in a classroom and shot them with plastic pellets without warning.
The injuries included welts and bleeding, according to the association. Reports state that nearly 30 teachers were involved in the training.
One teacher told the outlet: "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.” The identities of the teachers were kept anonymous by the newspaper.
The association, in a tweet, said that the teachers were brought into the classroom to repeat the exercise four at a time, while other teachers waiting outside heard them scream from the room. Reports state that the teachers who were shot were asked to "not tell anyone what happened."
The ISTA Vice President Keith Gambill, in a statement on Thursday, said that the union has urged the state lawmakers to include language into the bill that would ban schools or districts from "conducting or authorizing an active shooter drill where any school employee or student may have any type of projectile fired at their person." Gambill also described the airsoft guns used during the active shooter training as "injurious" and "fear-based." "Educators should never have to endure being fired at with pellets in an active shooter training,” he said.
The local law enforcement, White County Sheriff's Department, which conducted the drill at Meadowlawn Elementary School on January 4 told the outlet that it stopped using airsoft guns during teacher training after it received complaints.
Schools across the United States, in response to a sharp rise in mass shootings, have increased the number of active shooter drills conducted in the premises. Some of the worst mass shootings last year in the country occurred in schools including St Marjory Stoneman High in Parkland, Florida, claiming 17 lives, which included mostly students and teachers.