Editorial: Unnesessary realism?

Editorial: Unnesessary realism?

Convincing teachers that being shot, even with a toy gun firing less-than-lethal projectiles, is a painful experience that should not require a practical demonstration

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Although the incident was billed as a training exercise, law enforcement officials at an Indiana elementary school reportedly ordered teachers to turn around and crouch and then shot them will plastic pellets.

According to a Washington Post report, the active-shooter “training” drill left some of the teachers bruised and bloodied.

Details of the January incident came to light last Wednesday during a hearing before state lawmakers on proposed legislation outlining how schools could spend grants from the Indiana safe-schools fund.

The measure would require schools to conduct active-shooter training. Such a requirement, while taking away from other school activities, seems unfortunately reasonable in today’s society.

The Post reported that Gail Zeheralis, director of government relations for the Indiana State Teachers Association, testified that such training at the Twin Lakes School Corporation elementary school in Monticello, Indiana, had, in her opinion, taken the active-shooter scenario too far.

Zeheralis testified that sheriff’s deputies reportedly directed teachers at the school into a room four at a time, told them to crouch down and then shot them execution-style with pellets in rapid succession.

“They were injured to the extent that welt appeared and blood was drawn,” according to Zeheralis’s prepared testimony, which was shared with The Washington Post. “There was screaming.”

Zeheralis said teachers waiting outside the room heard their co-workers screaming before being brought into the room and shot with pellets. She said the teachers were told not to relay what happened to anyone.

The teachers union, which supports the safe-schools grants, called for an amendment prohibiting drills that include shooting at teachers.

While the sheriff’s department did not respond to a request for comment from The Post, department officials told the Indianapolis Star it had conducted similar training before but that after receiving a complaint, it would no longer use air-powered devices to shoot teachers.

If there were so much as a glimmer of a logical reason for deputies to fire plastic pellets at teachers taking part in the drill, the sheriff’s department should have shared it.

Shooting teachers, even with a toy gun firing less-than-lethal projectiles, is a painful — and traumatizing — experience. that serves no practical purpose.

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