Teachers Shocked By Surprise School Shooting Drill

A charter school in the small town of Halfway, Oregon was shocked by an unannounced “active shooter” drill that involved two masked “gunmen” entering a meeting room and shooting 13 of the 15 occupants. After a few seconds, the teachers realized that it was only a drill, because none of them were bleeding.

It was all a part of a drill put on by the Union County Police Department. The shooters were actually members of the school staff who had dressed in hoodies and masks and fired blanks from their guns. Students were at home for an in-service day.

After the drill (and probably a couple heart attacks), they had discussed precautionary measures to protect themselves from such a scenario in the future. The drill showed the teachers how much they need to have immediate protection. So armed security and armed teachers were both thrown around as ideas. Wouldn’t it have been horrible if one of the teachers were carrying a concealed weapon during the drill?

That’s one reason I don’t think these surprise drills are a good idea. Someone could actually end up getting hurt or killed, and then whose fault would it be?

I understand that this is a charter school, but government schools have done these sorts of drills before too. I really don’t get that. They supposedly have zero tolerance polices toward guns. They suspend students for drawings, hand gestures and imaginings of firearms. They’ll even suspend a teacher for bringing household tools to school to show his students. Yet they’ll subject students and teachers to live school shooting drills. How’s that for “zero tolerance?”

If they’re so concerned about students feeling safe that they would outlaw the very “appearance of evil” such as gun drawings, toys and hands shaped like guns, then why in the world would a Chicago area high school plan a shooting drill where officers would fire blanks in the school hallways:

 “[T]he ‘code red’ drill at Cary-Grove High School will require teachers and staff to secure their rooms, draw the shades, and lock the doors. Police officers will then swarm the school, and someone will fire the blanks to mimic a shootout in the hallway. The district says the drill is designed to prepare students to deal with a school shooting, and will help familiarize them with the sound of gunfire.”

 In their effort to create an atmosphere of respect and security, they’ll simulate a mass shooting to “familiarize students with the sound of gunfire,” just in case it actually happens to them. So Nerf guns, gun drawings and hands shaped like guns can traumatize other students especially in the wake of the Newtown massacre, but simulated mass shootings are OK. Makes perfect sense. Granted, that was in Chicago, so I’m sure all the students were already familiar with the sound of gunfire.