INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
A state Senate panel has amended a school safety bill after teachers were
shot with plastic pellets during active-shooter training at an elementary
school in northern Indiana.
The amendment would
bar the firing of projectiles at teachers, school employees or students
during any drill or training.
education committee amended the bill Wednesday and it now proceeds to the
Senate appropriations committee, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The Indiana State
Teachers Association requested the amendment following a training exercise
in January at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello. Instructors fired
on the teachers, saying it demonstrated what would happen if they weren’t
proactive in responding to an active shooter. Educators were left with
welts, bruises and abrasions.
The exercise went
too far, lawmakers said.
educators were supposed to be receiving ALICE training, an “options-based”
practice that aims to influence students and teachers to be more proactive
in their response to an active shooter. The training also included
strategies such as rushing a prospective shooter. ALICE is an acronym for
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate
schools across the nation, including many in Indiana, have been using ALICE.
Shooting teachers with plastic pellets in a mock training is not usually
part of the exercise. But school districts and the local law enforcement
handle the specific details of how those active-shooter drills are executed.
“ALICE is committed
to keeping students, teachers, and everyone working in schools safe, in
addition to all of the other individuals we support in our training
nationally,” the ALICE Training Institute said in a statement released in
response to the Meadowlawn incident. “The purpose of ALICE training is to
empower individuals to participate in their own survival in the face of
Sheriff Bill Brooks, whose department conducted the training at Meadowlawn,
said his office has led active-shooter training with schools for numerous
years. Brooks noted they’ve previously used the device that fired the
projectiles, termed an airsoft gun. The department no longer uses them with
teachers, he said.