May 2, 2013
Teachers at Oregon’s Pine Eagle Charter School were shocked when two masked men burst into the faculty meeting room last Friday and opened fire.Luckily students were at home while only school staff attended the in-service day. The shooters turned out to be school employees shooting blank rounds to test the reaction from the 15 teachers present. The drill, which was planned ahead of time, was kept secret from all teachers on the receiving end.
The school’s principal Cammie DeCastro noted that “not many” of the 15 teachers in the meeting room would have survived according to The Oregonian.
Several teachers in the room commented on the fact that they thought they would have certainly died if the situation would of been a real scenario.
“I’ll tell you, the whole situation was horrible. I got a couple in the front and a couple in the back,” said Elementary teacher Morgan Gover.
The staff had previously received training from the local sheriff’s department on what to do during a school shooting but never expected a drill like this to unfold. Some now question what the drill even proved given the unlikelihood of surviving two shooters in a small room while unarmed.
Many agree that preparing for the rare possibility of a school shooting is a good idea but some people in the community feel the drill went too far. Principal DeCastro still stands by it.
Debate over whether these live drills do more harm than good is still ongoing. A 2012 shooter drill in Texas horrified children and even caused some temporary health issues. Some also worry over possible psychological trauma from unannounced drills using live fire. Still most parents support at least a normal school lock-down drill.
Controversy was stirred last January when the Cary-Grove High School in Chicago held a live drill where students were locked in classrooms as blank rounds were fired off in the hallways. Although students and parents were informed ahead of time, many parents felt the drill was too much.
Given what some feel is media fear-mongering after tragic incidents at schools, many would think school shootings are on the rise when they are actually not. Currently a child is three times more likely to be struck by lightning than witness a school shooting.
Mikael Thalen’s article first appeared at Examiner.com.