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Do you think an unexpected "active shooter" drill like this is a good idea?
May 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Masked Gunmen Shoot at Teachers at School -- But It's Not What It Appears

by Kiri Blakeley

Imagine being a teacher at this rural Oregon school. You're sitting there, probably enjoying some stale coffee and a croissant, chatting with other teachers at a meeting, when suddenly two masked men wearing hoodies burst in carrying guns and begin firing. You're hit. Once, twice, three times. You see no escape. You see your fellow teachers also being blasted with gunfire. Your life flashes before your eyes; you think about the parents, children, and friends you will leave behind. And then suddenly you realize there's no blood. And no one is dying. And you're okay too. And that's when it dawns on you. The bullets, the masked men, and the entire scenario are FAKE. Tah dah! Yes, this really happened. A school decided to give its teachers an "active shooter drill" -- but failed to tell them about it.

The drill was designed to test Pine Eagle Charter School's readiness in case of a Sandy Hook-type scenario. And apparently the drill showed that most of the teachers in the classroom would have died that day.



Said teacher Morgan Gover:

I'll tell you, the whole situation was horrible. I got a couple in the front and a couple in the back.

Although the staff had received some training from the local sheriff's office, none of them was expecting a surprise drill on that level. So there was real terror in the room -- at least for a few seconds.

As if teachers don't have enough to worry about. Seriously, this could have gone really wrong. Imagine a teacher with a heart condition having a heart attack and dying for some fake drill.

The drill did have a few "teachable" moments. Some teachers realized they didn't recognize the sound of gunfire and would have "blown it off as kids' sounds in the hall." Now they know what it sounds like.

Others realized how truly unprepared they were and made some changed to their classrooms -- like keeping their doors locked and knowing where the escape routes are.

I suppose there is nothing like the fake thing you think is real to prepare you for the real thing.

But I also imagine now the teachers will be living in a permanent state of fear realizing how easily the element of surprise could mean their deaths. Don't teachers have enough to worry about? I remember my mom saying how scarred she was by nuclear bomb drills that her classroom had as children. As if there is realistically anything you can do to hide from a nuclear bomb.

The principal says he's gotten some criticism over the drill but believes it was a valuable lesson. This is the type of thing that school shootings leave behind -- fear where there shouldn't be. It's a tragedy that teachers, kids, and parents have to live with this.

Do you think an unexpected drill like this is a good idea?

Replies

  • Sisteract
    May 3, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    We had one of these + kidnapping in our Nicu one night shift- the charge nurse that night actually was out on a post traumatic episode stress leave for many months after the occurrence. I doubt our facility will ever pull that sort of episode again.

    I would say, no-

  • romanceparty4u
    May 3, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Imagine a teacher that was secretly armed killing one of the "men in masks" in this scenario. Or a student, maintenance man, etc. WTF were they thinking? I assure you "mock" or not, if someone comes up into my place of employment and there's any way I can hurt them, I will. If it's mock it should have been announced to prevent a scenario like this.

  • boobarandbell
    May 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    What a F*&*ed up idea. Working there, i would quit. Was this while school was in session i assume? What if any kids saw that, they would be traumatzed. And the kids are going to hear about it anyway, and i'm sure it will have some backlash with students being afraid, as if they aren't enough these days about things like that. As a parent, i would have a sh*t fit if my kid was in school during this 'drill'. What a horrible thing to do to these teachers and staff. If they want to have a drill, it needs to be a drill, not during school hours and practice some real safety tips that will help them, not just surprise them and scare them. This principal (if this was his idea) needs to be fired, asap. What poor judgement on his part. What if a student would have gotten hurt in the chaos? Bad, bad, bad judgement from a person in authority. 

  • Healthystart30
    May 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM
    I think it's horrible! And I can't imagine being a participant in a drill like that!
  • LindaClement
    May 3, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    No.

    This is the kind of thing that gives people PTSD.

  • 4music
    by 4music
    May 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM

     Seeing as we had a shooting at our high school last year - NO!  One of the teachers actually chased the armed shooter out of the building with no regard for his own life.  Would have tackled him if he could have. Several died, but his actions saved many.  The school had a plan in place and had run drills, but nothing like described above and they would NEVER consider doing such a thing to an already traumatized community.   Horrible idea!

     

  • cjsbmom
    by cjsbmom
    May 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Absolutely not, and those teachers would be within their rights to sue the asses off of that school district. WTF? 

  • cjsbmom
    by cjsbmom
    May 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Exactly. I may not be armed, but I'd fight back and I'd do some damage. This was just a bad idea all the way around. 

    Quoting romanceparty4u:

    Imagine a teacher that was secretly armed killing one of the "men in masks" in this scenario. Or a student, maintenance man, etc. WTF were they thinking? I assure you "mock" or not, if someone comes up into my place of employment and there's any way I can hurt them, I will. If it's mock it should have been announced to prevent a scenario like this.


  • EireLass
    May 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    No. I would think a teacher may be carrying concealed.

  • Ms.KitKat
    May 3, 2013 at 7:31 PM

     I think it was a valuable lesson. Teachers are never too old or too experienced to learn something new. My town's schools also have these types of drills. They never set the exact date but do give some warning (ie within the next few weeks there will be a drill). A little advanced warning would have been nice but again, this was a lesson none of those teachers will ever forget! and hopefully they have learned to save a few lives (minimally thier own).

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