Teachers in Indiana are rallying around an effort to add language to a proposed bill that would prohibit educators from being shot at with pellet guns during active school shooter drills, after several teachers said they received bruises and abrasions during one such staged attack.
Speaking before the Indiana Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, State Teachers Association government relations director Gail Zeharalis claimed elementary school teachers in Monticello, IN, were sprayed with pellets after being instructed to kneel against a wall during an active shooter drill conducted by local police this past January.
“They told us, ‘This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,” one teacher who participated in the drill and who asked not to be identified, told the Indy Star.
According to the teacher, those shot ended up with welts, cuts, and bruises.
“It hurt so bad,” the teacher added.
On Twitter, the State Teacher’s Association claimed that teachers at the school “were told not to tell anyone what happened.” and that “teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated.”
Speaking with the Star, the The White County Sheriff’s Office admitted that it had used airsoft pellet guns in the past during their active shooter drills, but had stopped the practice after receiving complaints.
Despite the alleged end of the practice by the White County Sheriff’s Office, the STA testified this week to ensure that using projectiles against teachers during these sorts of exercises be made expressly illegal.
“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,” Zeharalis told lawmakers during Wednesday’s hearing. Seems pretty reasonable, to say the least.