Masked ‘Gunmen’ Enter Meeting Room, Fire Blanks…
HALFWAY, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — Teachers were shocked and caught off guard when an Oregon school held a school shooting drill.
The Oregonian reports Pine Eagle Charter School in Halfway held the drill last Friday as children were home for an in-service day. Two masked “gunmen” burst into a meeting room holding 15 teachers firing blanks. Teachers only realized it wasn’t a real shooting when none of them were bleeding.
“There was some commotion,” school principal Cammie DeCastro told The Oregonian.
Teachers were frightened about what happened.
“I’ll tell you, the whole situation was horrible,” Morgan Gover told the paper. “I got a couple in the front and a couple in the back.”
The school held the unplanned drill in hopes to better educate teachers on how to deal with a school shooting. Of the 15 teachers in the room, only two would have survived.
“I’m in charge of a pile of kids,” Gover told The Oregonian. “It made me analyze as a teacher what my role is for these babies.”
The drill has been criticized but the school has dismissed the criticism.
“For us not to know how we were going to respond is leaving us open,” DeCastro told The Oregonian.
DeCastro added that arming teachers or having armed volunteers at the school are possible outcomes for the future.
Last month, the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee passed, on a 3-2 party-line vote, four bills that would expand background checks and add new restrictions on carrying firearms. The bills next move to the Senate floor.
The proposed legislation would expand background checks to cover private gun sales and transfers, exempting exchanges between family members, including domestic partners. It would also prohibit licensed gun owners from openly carrying firearms in public buildings, allow school districts to ban firearms on school grounds, and require concealed-weapons permit applicants to take a course taught by a live instructor. A provision requiring applicants for concealed-weapons permits to pass a firing range test was dropped.
The drill comes in response to the December school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 people, including 20 children.