Meadowlawn Elementary teachers shot with pellet guns during drill

Mar 27, 2019, 2:46 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2019, 9:18 am
Meadowlawn Elementary School Active Shooter Drill...
Teachers at Meadowlawn Elementary School were shot "execution-style" with airsoft pellets by sheriff's deputies during an active shooter drill. (Photo: CNN)
(Photo: CNN)

Teachers at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Indiana were ordered to kneel down facing the wall and were shot, execution-style, by sheriff’s deputies with pellet guns as part of a school safety drill that’s incensed the nation.

The teachers say they were given no warning about what was to happen. They thought they were doing nothing more than a standard safety training drill before they were forced to act out their own deaths.

Now they are calling for a change to laws, asking lawmakers to add language to a bill that would stop police officers from ever doing anything like this again.

The shooting at Meadowlawn Elementary

Meadowlawn Elementary School

Teachers at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello, Indiana, were reportedly shot in the back with plastic pellets during an active-shooter training earlier this year. (Photo: Meadowlawn Elementary School / Facebook)

The pellet-gun shooting at Meadowlawn Elementary occurred back in January but didn’t come to light until last week, when two elementary school teachers spoke before state lawmakers and told their story.

They’d been shot during a professional development day. Local sheriff’s deputies had come to the school to train them in what’s called ALICE training, a type of school shooting safety training that encourages teachers to be proactive in the event of an attack, including encouraging them to rush the shooter in some situations.

ALICE training is taught across the country, but the techniques used at Meadowlawn were far from ordinary. Teachers were given paintball masks for protection but otherwise were given no warning at all that they were about to be forced onto the ground and made to play out their own brutal murders.

“They shot all of us across our backs,” one teacher told the Indy Star. “I was hit four times. … It hurt so bad.”

After shooting the teachers, the deputies reportedly told them: “This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing.”

When questioned, the White County Sheriff’s Department did not deny shooting the teachers. Instead, they admitted that they’d done this several times before at other schools. Sheriff Bill Brooks, when questioned, said that he couldn’t even count how many teachers his officers had shot so far.

Brooks, in fact, seemed surprised that the teachers were upset at all. He told the Indy Star that the exercise would be stopped, saying: “We were made aware that one teacher was upset and we ended it.”

Far more than one teacher, however, has been protesting the White County Sheriff Department’s behavior. The Indiana State Teachers Association has gone to the Senate demanding an amendment to a school safety bill that that would, in the words of the ISTA, “prohibit the shooting of some type of projectile at staff in an active-shooter drill.”

Brooks has argued against the bill, saying that it’s unnecessary. “We don’t need legislation in White County,” he says. “We’re just not going to do it.”

The new wording is currently being debated in the Indiana Senate. In the latest update, the Indiana Senate pushed back their vote by a week.

More to the story

KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic talked about this story on the air, and they were furious. Host Dave Noriega said: “We can train without traumatizing.”

If you missed their conversation live on KSL Newsradio, you can still catch everything they had to say on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Meadowlawn Elementary teachers shot with pellet guns during drill